From Deadline|London editor Tim Adler: Producer Paul Webster tells me that Kristin Scott Thomas is to play the British Prime Minister’s press secretary in BBC Films’ Salmon Fishing in the Yemen which Bill Condon will start shooting in June. Apparently, Scott Thomas’ character is not a million miles away from that of Alastair Campbell, ex-PM Tony Blair’s feared master of spin. Simon Beaufoy, screenwriter of The Full Monty, has adapted Paul Torday’s bestselling novel. “It’s accessible, eccentric and very British,” Webster of Kudos Film and TV tells me. The UK Film Council is helping fund development.
This is a busy time for Webster. He’s also lining up a sequel to Eastern Promises, with Viggo Mortensen reprising his role as the Russian Mafia hitman. David Cronenberg will direct Steve Knight’s script. The Focus Features project hopes to go this winter. First, Mortensen and Cronenberg have to work together on the Sigmund Freud pic, The Talking Cure.
Also, Webster is almost done overseeing editing on Rowan Joffe’s reimagining of Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock, which Optimum/Studio Canal will release. Joffe’s imaginatively transplanted Greene’s original 1930s story into Mod era Brighton circa 1964. What’s clever is that was the last year when hanging was legal in Britain – something which the whole plot, er, hangs on. Helen Mirren stars opposite Sam Riley and Andrea Riseborough.