EXCLUSIVE: Patrick Melrose Emmy nominee Edward Berger has been set to direct Rio, the Steven Knight-penned psychological thriller that’s in advanced development from Studiocanal, SunnyMarch and Nine Stories. This is the project that I told you about last year with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jake Gyllenhaal being courted to star. Their attachments are now confirmed and they will also produce.
Studiocanal is fully financing and has international sales on the film which Cumberbatch and Adam Ackland are producing under their SunnyMarch banner. Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker are producing via their Nine Stories.
Rio, from the mind of Peaky Blinders, Taboo and Locke‘s Knight, centers on two old friends who meet again in the titular city. One is a journalist, the other a hugely successful financier. Plot details are under wraps, although there is also a strong female lead character.
Berger is joining the project after working with Cumberbatch on the Showtime/Sky miniseries Patrick Melrose which is up for five Emmys. He is stepping in for Luca Guadagnino who was originally attached but bowed out over scheduling conflicts.
Berger’s other credits include AMC’s The Terror; landmark series Deutschland 83, which won the International Emmy in 2016; and the widely praised German feature Jack, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in 2014.
Cumberbatch and Ackland say, “We are delighted to be working with Ed Berger again on this very special project. Together with Studiocanal and Nine Stories this promises to be a terrific collaboration, we can’t wait to bring Rio to life.”
Gyllenhaal and Marker call Berger’s work “superb” and say they’re “thrilled to be collaborating with him, Studiocanal and SunnyMarch — an undeniably talented group of filmmakers.”
Studiocanal CEO Didier Lupfer and EVP International Production Ron Halpern add that Berger is “a director we have wanted to work with since we first saw Jack and Deutschland 83. Steve has written a great thriller and we couldn’t be more excited to work with the directing, writing, producing and acting caliber behind this project.”
Ron Halpern and Shana Eddy are overseeing for Studiocanal.
Berger is represented by ICM Partners, Anonymous Content and Casarotto Ramsay; Gyllenhaal and Nine Stories are represented by WME and Bloom Hergott; Cumberbatch is repped by UTA and Conway van Gelder Grant; and Knight is with United Agents and CAA.