EXCLUSIVE: Casino Royale helmer Martin Campbell is back in high adventure mode, attaching to direct Treasure of Ali Baba & The 40 Thieves, a global adventure adapted from the 1,001 Arabian Nights Tales. The most recent draft is by Dave Holstein, based on a screenplay developed by Mansur Ahmed and Ehud Bleiberg. Bleiberg, Danny Dimbort and Nicholas Donnermeyer are producing along with frequent Campbell collaborator Robert K. MacLean. Marc Bikindou, Tiffany Boyle and Charles Wachsberg are executive producers on the film.
Bleiberg and Dimbort are jointly handling the worldwide sales rights and will bring the film to buyers in Toronto. The logline: an adventure novelist gets caught up in a global conspiracy and a hunt for a mysterious antiquity after discovering that his father had a map to the legendary treasure of Ali Baba. He must team up with a brilliant cartographer to locate the artifacts before they fall into the hands of the 40 Thieves — an ancient group who has quietly become a powerful, international syndicate of criminals in high-ranking corporate positions.
This becomes the second collaboration for Campbell & MacLean with Dimbort and Bleiberg, who are teamed on Across The River And Into The Trees, the Ernest Hemingway novel adaptation which Campbell will direct in the spring after Pierce Brosnan finishes his commitments in the latest season of The Son. Campbell directed Brosnan as 007 in GoldenEye. Tribune Pictures Film Sales is representing that film with Christian Mercuri’s Capstone Group.
Campbell is readying for release The Foreigner, adding a 10-minute fight sequence for star Jackie Chan for the film’s China bow later this month. The film opens through STX in the U.S. on October 13.
Said Campbell of Ali Baba: “This is a great opportunity to do something with international appeal and huge franchise potential. I want this to be my Indiana Jones.”
Dimbort, a cornerstone international sales guy, is also in Toronto for the premiere of Papillon with Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek. He’s an exec producer on the pic. Campbell is repped by CAA and Independent Talent Group.