9:00am PT by Lacey Rose
HBO Nabs Thriller From 'Sightseers' Filmmaker Ben Wheatley (Exclusive)
HBO is getting into the thriller business with Ben Wheatley.
The British filmmaker behind such independent films as Down Terrace and ultra-violent Kill List will write, executive produce and direct the original drama Silk Road, which is said to be in the vein of The Prisoner. Though the premium cable network is keeping details of the project under wraps, it could be worth noting that Silk Road is the name of an online black market, where the majority of products qualify as contraband in most jurisdictions.
Joining Wheatley as executive producers are Mythology Entertainment’s Bradley J. Fischer, Laeta Kalogridis and James Vanderbilt. Through Wheatley’s Rook Films, Amy Jump and Andy Starke will co-executive produce as well.
Wheatley will remain active in the film world, too, where he's currently in post on his next film, a civil war drama titled A Field in England, and is developing the large-scale sci-fi action film Freak Shift with David Linde’s Lava Bear Productions. His most recent film, Sightseers, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012.
Mythology, for its part, a year-and-a-half-old partnership between former Phoenix Pictures co-president Fischer and screenwriter/producers Kalogridis and Vanderbilt, is behind the upcoming Suge Knight Showtime documentary in which director Antoine Fuqua persuades the Death Row Records mogul to discuss the murders of both the Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac. Also forthcoming: the Roland Emmerich-directed action thriller White House Down, starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx, and the recently announced The Brigands of Rattleborge, from the 2006 Black List script from S. Craig Zahler (acclaimed Korean director Chan-wook Park is in talks to direct).
Wheatley, who quickly has built a reputation as one of Britain's most distinctive filmmakers, is repped by WME, Independent Talent UK and Michael Schenkman and Greg Slewett of Bloom Hergott. Mythology, which is also prepping The Nazi and the Psychiatrist as both a film and play, is repped by attorneys Katz Golden Rosenman and McKuin, Frankel & Whitehead.
Email: Lacey.Rose@thr.com; Twitter: @LaceyVRose