EXCLUSIVE– Yann Demange, one of Britain’s most in-demand directors, is in final negotiations to board Sony’s increasingly high profile cop project The Seven Five. Demange, whose debut feature ’71 bowed to a rapturous critical reception following its world premiere at last year’s Berlin Film Festival as well as in the UK, seems a perfect fit for the tough-nosed source material. Based on the Tiller Russell-directed and Eli Holzman-produced documentary about one of the most corrupt police forces in 1980s New York, The Seven Five focuses on Michael Dowd, who was arrested in 1992 arrest for leading a ring of dirty cops for the best part of eight years between 1986-1992. Their crimes included theft, abuse and drug dealing. Dowd’s case exposed widespread corruption in the NYPD and sent him to prison for 14 years.
Deadline exclusively revealed both that Sony had won a competitive auction for the feature adaptation rights as well as the fact that the studio had brought John Lesher and Megan Ellison on-board to produce the feature with Holzman.
Demange is well-known for being a versatile and perfectionist filmmaker, able to bring moments of soul and humanity to otherwise gritty fare. His involvement would be a major coup for Sony.
’71, starring Jack O’Connell (Unbroken), follows a night in the life of a British soldier who finds himself separated from his platoon and having to fend for himself in a hostile Belfast neighbourhood. Demange’s Top Boy, a four part mini-series about a London drug dealer described by some critics as Britain’s answer to HBO cult fave The Wire, won the Royal Television Society’s award for best TV serial.
Eli Holzman produced the original docu with Stephen Lambert, and Aaron Saidman from All3Media America, along with Sheldon Yellen. ICM Partners repped the docu in the deal. Holzman will also produce the feature adaptation.
The combination of Demange with Lesher and Ellison, and their respective companies Le Grisbi Productions and Annapurna, and Holzman, is already shaping The Seven Five as a formidable heavyweight contender for Sony production president Michael De Luca.
Both Lesher and Ellison, known for their taste, have awards season contenders with Birdman and Foxcatcher respectively.
Demange is repped by CAA and Independent Talent Group.