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Relativity Media Hiring James McTeigue On Period Crime Drama ‘Ness/Capone’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: James McTeigue, who just completed the John Cusack-starrer The Raven for Relativity Media, is getting back in business with Ryan Kavanaugh. I’m told that McTeigue is making a deal to direct Ness/Capone, the Grant Pierce Myers script that made the 2010 Black List and puts a new spin on the epic battle between Eliot Ness and Al Capone during the Prohibition Era 1920s. Relativity acquired it in April. McTeigue is negotiating, even as he is casting his next film, Message From the King, the Oliver Butcher- and Stephen Cornwell-scripted thriller about an enigmatic outsider who comes to L.A. to investigate the sudden disappearance of his sister. That film is being financed by FilmNation Entertainment.

Ness/Capone covers the feud in more shades of gray than were evident in The Untouchables. Ness is a skirt-chasing 26-year-old publicity hound who seemed to get an adrenaline charge out of courting danger, kicking in doors, smashing moonshine stores and rubbing it in the noses of Capone and other mobsters. He would parade confiscated bootleg trucks past Capone’s hotel, calling Capone in advance to suggest he look out the window. Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Jeremy Bell, Gianni Nunnari, Jason Felts and Rene Rigal are producing.

McTeigue is repped by CAA.

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James McTeigue Directing ‘Message From The King’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: V For Vendetta helmer James McTeigue has been set to direct Message From the King for FilmNation Entertainment. Scripted by Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell (Unknown), the thriller centers on Jacob King, an enigmatic outsider who comes to LA to investigate the sudden disappearance of his sister. FilmNation Entertainment production head Aaron Ryder will produce with Rhodri Thomas of The Ink Factory and Ash Shah and production will begin in late fall with FilmNation handling international sales.

McTeigue just completed the John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe thriller The Raven for FilmNation and Intrepid Pictures. Relativity Media releasing the film March 9 and McTeigue and Ryder will do a little tub-thumping for the film at Comic-Con. “After working with James on The Raven and then seeing a cut of the film, it was very clear to us that we needed to make his next movie,” Ryder said.

Cornwell and Butcher are adapting the Warren Ellis graphic novel series Gravel for Legendary Pictures and Cornwell is a cofounder of The Ink Factory. That company is prepping an adaptation of John Le Carre’s A Most Wanted Man, which Anton Corbijn will direct. CAA reps McTeigue.

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FilmNation Takes On ‘Message’ Movie

Mike Fleming

Message From The King, a thriller that once had Will Smith and Michael Mann circling before it languished when Warner Independent Pictures folded, is generating some new heat. Glen Basner’s FilmNation Entertainment has come aboard to produce the action thriller and package it for spring 2011 production start. FilmNation’s Aaron Ryder will produce alongside Ash Shah. The script by Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell focuses on Jacob King, a mysterious outsider who comes to L.A. to bring those responsible for his younger sister’s disappearance to justice. Cornwell and Butcher wrote Unknown White Male, the upcoming Warner Bros thriller that stars Liam Neeson and January Jones.

Cornwell and Butcher’s new production company, White Hare, is also getting a producing credit and the shingle bears watching. Cornwell’s the son of The Constant Gardener author John Le Carre, and part of the company’s mandate is to package his father’s works into movies. That includes an adaptation of A Most Wanted Man, as well as the upcoming Our Kind of Traitor, the latter of which is being adapted by Hossein Amini.

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