By Catherine Scott | The Playlist May 12, 2011 at 10:34AM
There's only a handful of people right now who can rush a project through development, and apparently, one of these people is "Twilight" series writer Stephenie Meyer.
With the reports last week that Saoirse Ronan would be dropping out of "The Hobbit" to take on dual roles in the adaptation of Meyer's adult novel "The Host" came the rumor about Andrew Niccol taking back the film as director -- at one point he became busy his upcoming thriller “Now” (starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried) and Susanna White, director of episodes of HBO‘s “Generation Kill” and “Nanny McPhee Returns,” had briefly signed on in his stead. That's no longer the case.
Deadline reports today that Niccol is confirmed to direct after penning the script a few months ago. Producers Nick Wechsler, Steve Schwartz and Paula Mae Schwartz are looking to shop the package at Cannes this week through Inferno Entertainment.
“Having Andrew at the helm for us is incredibly invigorating as he truly shares Stephenie’s vision on this film,” said Kimberly Fox, Inferno’s President of International Sales in a statement. “We literally began sales this week and the response from the international community, and from domestic buyers, has been beyond our highest expectations. We expect to have every territory in the world sold out very shortly, and then it’s about getting to the exciting part of making the movie.”
Meyer held out on selling the rights to her book and handpicked Niccol to adapt and direct after liking his earlier film, "Gattaca." Niccol dropped out to direct "Now," but with that finished and hitting theaters this September, he's now ready to get started on this project that will probably be a huge success after the "Twilight" series wraps up soon. Call it a comeback for the man who did "Gattaca" and then lost his way in a bit of development hell? Sure, let's hope so.