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Tarsem To Direct Sci-Fi Thriller 'The Panopticon,' Mira Nair To Helm 'Bengali Detective'

The Playlist By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist August 9, 2013 at 5:51PM

Even with three of his films experiencing less-than-stellar critical reception, the majestic images and decent box office of Tarsem Singh's work have still allowed the “Mirror, Mirror” director a bevy of upcoming projects. His “Marco Polo” biopic is currently in the pre-production stages, and while Tarsem is set to next helm the Ryan Reynolds sci-fi drama “Selfless,” he's just been announced to stay within the same high-concept wheelhouse in the immediate future.
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Tarsem Mira Nair

Even with three of his films experiencing less-than-stellar critical reception, the majestic images and decent box office of Tarsem Singh's work have still allowed the “Mirror, Mirror” director a bevy of upcoming projects. His “Marco Polo” biopic is currently in the pre-production stages, and while Tarsem is set to next helm the Ryan Reynolds sci-fi drama Selfless,” he's just been announced to stay within the same high-concept wheelhouse in the immediate future.

The Wrap reports Tarsem will enter “The Panopticon,” an original sci-fi thriller written by Craig Rosenberg (“After The Sunset”), which follows an ordinary man who receives a mysterious package containing a message from himself—one that warns of the world's end if he doesn't find a way to prevent it. Good Universe and Andrew Lazar (“Get Smart”) will produce the flick, which might need Tarsem's signature style to rise above that rather vanilla setup.

Meanwhile, a director with a similarly spotty body of work, but who nevertheless gives us occasional reason for hope, Mira Nair returned to cinema screens this year after 2009's “Amelia” with her Riz Ahmed drama, “The Reluctant Fundamentalist.” Now she's set to quickly follow that film with the crime drama “Bengali Detective,” based on the documentary of the same name by Phil Cox. Focused on a private eye's dream to dance on Indian TV in Calcutta, the film—which once had Stephen Frears attached—will be written by Sabrina Dhawan (with whom Nair collaborated on “Monsoon Wedding”) and produced by Michael Costigan and Scott Free. [Variety]

Another adaptation in the works, “The Englishman,” has just found a helmer as well, this time occupied by “A Good Day To Die Hard” director John Moore. The Africa-set project is based on Will Scully's 1997 account, “Once A Pilgrim: The True Story of One Man's Courage Under Rebel Fire,” and it follows an SAS-led effort to evacuate Sierra Leone civilians during a military coup. Aside from 2006's remake of “The Omen,” Moore has remained firmly within the action genre (“Behind Enemy Lines,” “Flight Of The Phoenix”); hopefully this latest one proves a better fit than his efforts with John McClane. [Variety]


This article is related to: Tarsem, Mira Nair, The Bengali Detective, John Moore


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