Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence Union Rep Says Safety Was A Concern On 'The Revenant' Shoot Union Rep Says Safety Was A Concern On 'The Revenant' Shoot All The Songs In 'Paper Towns' Including Bon Iver, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, Bob Dylan, And More All The Songs In 'Paper Towns' Including Bon Iver, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, Bob Dylan, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More 'Top Of The Lake' Season 2 Starts Shooting This Year, Elisabeth Moss Returns 'Top Of The Lake' Season 2 Starts Shooting This Year, Elisabeth Moss Returns Watch: Trailer For Bret Easton Ellis’ Penned Teen Horror ‘The Curse of Downers Grove’ With Bella Heathcote Watch: Trailer For Bret Easton Ellis’ Penned Teen Horror ‘The Curse of Downers Grove’ With Bella Heathcote Watch: Video Essay Counts Down The 10 Most Beautiful Movies Of All Time Watch: Video Essay Counts Down The 10 Most Beautiful Movies Of All Time Watch: Bond Is Back In New Trailer For 'Spectre' With Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, And More Watch: Bond Is Back In New Trailer For 'Spectre' With Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, And More Alejandro González Iñárritu Still Has To Shoot The Finale Of 'The Revenant' Alejandro González Iñárritu Still Has To Shoot The Finale Of 'The Revenant' BBC's 100 Greatest American Films List Includes 'The Dark Knight,' 'Heaven's Gate,' 'Chinatown,' 'Tree Of Life,' And More BBC's 100 Greatest American Films List Includes 'The Dark Knight,' 'Heaven's Gate,' 'Chinatown,' 'Tree Of Life,' And More Ava DuVernay Says She Turned Down 'Black Panther' Because There Might've Been Too Much Compromise Ava DuVernay Says She Turned Down 'Black Panther' Because There Might've Been Too Much Compromise The 20 Best Films Of 2015 So Far The 20 Best Films Of 2015 So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season Stephen King Says Wendy In Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "One Of The Most Misogynistic Characters Ever Put On Film" Stephen King Says Wendy In Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "One Of The Most Misogynistic Characters Ever Put On Film" All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More "It Was A Clusterfuck From Day One": 5 Things About Neill Blomkamp's Failed 'Halo' Movie "It Was A Clusterfuck From Day One": 5 Things About Neill Blomkamp's Failed 'Halo' Movie Martin Scorsese Names His 11 Scariest Horror Movies of All Time Martin Scorsese Names His 11 Scariest Horror Movies of All Time

Jailed Iranian Filmmaker Jafar Panahi Was Set To Make Hollywood Debut On Steve Zaillian-Scripted 'A Thousand Splendid Suns'

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist December 13, 2011 at 9:45AM

One of the most depressing events in the film world in the last few years has been the imprisonment of Iranian director Jafar Panahi. The man behind acclaimed films such as "The Circle," "Crimson Gold" and "Offside" among others, was arrested by the country's regime two years ago for "assembly and colluding with the intention to commit crimes against the country’s national security and propaganda against the Islamic Republic," and sentenced to six years in prison, as well as being banned for making films, or leaving the country, for twenty years. Petitions and protests have been held all over the world, just as Panahi's documentary "This Is Not A Film" was unveiled at festivals, but so far, to no avail.  And it has emerged that, just as Panahi's imprisonment took place, he was moving towards making his Hollywood debut with one of the biggest producers in town, and an Oscar-winning screenwriter.
3
Jafar Panahi Thousand Splendid Suns

One of the most depressing events in the film world in the last few years has been the imprisonment of Iranian director Jafar Panahi. The man behind acclaimed films such as "The Circle," "Crimson Gold" and "Offside" among others, was arrested by the country's regime two years ago for "assembly and colluding with the intention to commit crimes against the country’s national security and propaganda against the Islamic Republic," and sentenced to six years in prison, as well as being banned for making films, or leaving the country, for twenty years. Petitions and protests have been held all over the world, just as Panahi's documentary "This Is Not A Film" was unveiled at festivals, but so far, to no avail.  And it has emerged that, just as Panahi's imprisonment took place, he was moving towards making his Hollywood debut with one of the biggest producers in town, and an Oscar-winning screenwriter.

Time Out London tweeted yesterday that during an interview with Steve Zaillian ("Schindler's List," "Moneyball," "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo") the writer revealed that he's been penning an adaptation of "A Thousand Splendid Suns," the second bestselling novel from Khaled Hosseini, author of "The Kite Runner," with the intention that Panahi would direct the project. According to a second tweet that followed, Panahi "said that he wanted to do it." 

The book, published in 2007, tracks two women from their childhood in 1960s Afghanistan to the fall of the Taliban, and had been set up at Sony, with mega-producer Scott Rudin ("True Grit," "The Social Network") shepherding the project. Panahi would have been a bold choice to direct such a studio project, but also a totally inspired one, and certainly better than Marc Forster, who helmed the adaptation of Hosseini's debut "The Kite Runner" around the same time.

For now, the film will have to be recategorised as one of those great lost projects, as we can only continue to hope for Panahi's safe and swift release. If you haven't already (and even if you have), you can send a message on the filmmaker's behalf to the Iranian regime, via Amnesty International, right here.

This article is related to: Jafar Panahi, Steve Zaillian, Scott Rudin


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates