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Roman Polanski Circling Polish Postmodern Mystery 'True Crime'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist April 8, 2011 at 6:04AM

Roman Polanski recently wrapped filming on his upcoming, surefire Oscar-bait "Carnage" -- which has already been snatched up by Sony Pictures Classics -- and it looks like he's already eyeing his next project and it may find the director switching gears and heading back into the crime genre, with a project based on a fascinating true story.
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Roman Polanski recently wrapped filming on his upcoming, surefire Oscar-bait "Carnage" -- which has already been snatched up by Sony Pictures Classics -- and it looks like he's already eyeing his next project and it may find the director switching gears and heading back into the crime genre, with a project based on a fascinating true story.

Currently being developed under the title "True Crime," the project is based off a 2008 New Yorker article by David Grann. In December 2000, Dariusz Janiszewski was found dead in the Oder River in Poland. Police investigated but after six months the case ran cold and was presumed unsolved until detective Jacek Wroblewski picked up the case. In the file he noticed that a number of calls were made to Janiszewski's cell phone that was never recovered and was actually sold online by Krystian Bala, a Polish intellectual. The investigation turned toward Bala and the murder had some eerie similarities with his book "Amok," the featured a murder almost identical to Janiszewski's with a character bearing the English version of his first name. Using the book as his guide, Wroblewski begins to circle the nets on Bala.

The adaptation of the story was done by Jeremy Brock ("The Last King Of Scotland," "The Eagle") but the film has Brett Ratner on board to produce which is troubling to say the least. Anyway, it's hardly definitive as Polanski's next project and we're sure he's got plenty of options but Focus Features -- where the project is set up right now -- are probably hoping he'll come aboard.

But that's not the only true crime pic in the works. Another Grann/New Yorker article has been optioned -- his April 4th article, "A Murder Foretold." Paramount and Indian Paintbrush snagged the rights in a bidding war and will be co-producing with Steve Zaillian's Film Rites shingle (though no word yet if he'll tackle the adaptation). And it's another fascinating, fact based tale. This time, it revolves around a man who, gunned down in the escalating violence in Guatemala, leaves a videotape after his death implicating the president, his wife, and other close aides in his killing. Of course, this rocked the nation, with a special prosecutor who digs deep to find the shocking truth behind the man's murder.

Sounds like some great material on both project all round and it will interesting to see the talent that begins to circle both. No production timelines on either film just yet. [Deadline]

This article is related to: Roman Polanski


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