EXCLUSIVE– Iconoclastic Scottish writer Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting) and director Jon S. Baird (Filth) are re-teaming for a bold new adaptation of the classic Walter Scott adventure tale Ivanhoe. Jens Meurer is producing through his Berlin-based Egoli Tossell Film banner. Meurer previously worked with Welsh and Baird on Filth, which is how this latest collaboration first sparked.
Very much the standard bearer for the knight in shining armour genre, Ivanhoe follows the story of a worthy and noble knight who returns to England after the third Crusades. He fights to restore the good King Richard, believed to be held captive in an Austrian prison, and depose Richard’s wicked brother John.
Scott’s iconic romantic novel, first published in 1820, has been adapted numerous times for the big and small screen, memorably in 1952 with a cast that included Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders and Robert Taylor as Ivanhoe. The book is also notable for having first introduced audiences to the character of Robin Hood, known here as Locksley, and his band of merry men.
Welsh and Baird, who previously collaborated on James McAvoy-starrer Filth, are believed to have a strong new take on the source material, with Ivanhoe and his fellow returning knights suffering to different degrees from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following their ultimately failed exploits against Saladin and his successful recapturing of Jerusalem.
Egoli Tossell Film is a Berlin-based independent production company. Founded in 2001 by producers Jens Meurer and Judy Tossell following the merger of their former production companies Egoli Films and Tossell Pictures, the company focuses on developing intelligent, entertaining stories for a broad international audience. Since 2010, Egoli Tossell Film, alongside Summerstorm Entertainment, has been a subsidiary of Christian Angermayer’s Film House Germany.
Basil Iwanyk’s Thunder Road announced a development deal with Film House at Cannes last year, that amounts to a mid-seven-figure deal over three years.
Jon S. Baird is repped by Independent Talent Group and CAA, as is Irvine Welsh, who is also managed by Trevor Engelson at Underground Films.