Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Watch: First Teaser Trailer For 'Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation' With Tom Cruise Arrives, If You Choose To Accept It Watch: First Teaser Trailer For 'Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation' With Tom Cruise Arrives, If You Choose To Accept It Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey & Jason Momoa Join Ana Lily Amirpour’s Cannibal Love Story ‘The Bad Batch’ Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey & Jason Momoa Join Ana Lily Amirpour’s Cannibal Love Story ‘The Bad Batch’ Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far 13 Cult Films About Cults 13 Cult Films About Cults The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 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 From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki 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

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.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates