EXCLUSIVE: The big screen adaptation of Peter Cameron’s 1997 thriller/dark comic novel Andorra has been percolating since 2013 when Jamie Bialkower’s Melbourne-based Jump Street Films first took the option. It’s now moving closer to a start with Roxanne helmer Fred Schepisi attached to direct and James Ivory attached as exec producer. Filming is eyed for next year in Europe with dates subject to casting.

andorraWhen the film was originally mooted, Cargo Entertainment was part of the equation but is no longer involved. Lizzette Atkins’ Unicorn Films is now aboard to co-produce. Atkins has Sue Brooks’ Looking For Grace in competition in Venice next month.

Andorra, which was re-issued in 2009, is the tale of Alexander Fox, who forsakes his American life and ends up in the tiny eponymous nation. The handsome newcomer is quickly entangled with the local residents, including a tall, cool Australian blonde with a giant dog; the ancient Mrs Reinhardt; and the kayaking matriarch of a powerful family who has her eye on him for one of her daughters. When a dead body turns up in the harbor, the local detective is strangely convinced Fox is involved.

The screenplay was adapted by Cameron and Bialkower. Cameron’s 2002 novel The City Of Your Final Destination was made into a 2009 film by Merchant Ivory.

Schepisi’s deal is negotiated by Echo Lake’s Mike Marcus.