British Director Peter Webber Plans Follow-Up to 'Girl With a Pearl Earring'
The new film, tentatively titled "Medusa," is also based on the story behind a famous painting and will be produced by Raffaella De Laurentiis.
ODESSA, UKRAINE – British film director Peter Webber is planning to shoot another movie based on a famous painting.
Webber, whose debut feature in 2003, Girl With a Pearl Earring, is credited with helping launch Scarlett Johansson's Hollywood career, says he is preparing a film based on the story behind a famous canvas painted in the early 19th century.
The movie — working title Medusa — is to be produced by Raffaella De Laurentiis, daughter of Dino De Laurentiis, who produced Webber's Hannibal Lecter prequel Hannibal Rising in 2007. It will be made on a budget of around $8 million.
Webber, who was in Odessa as chairman of the city's international film festival jury, said the film is one of a slate of projects he is keen to work on after a gap of several years in his feature work.
"I am hoping to catch up and line up some projects and bang out a few films in a row to make up for some of the down times over the last 10 years," he told The Hollywood Reporter.
Webber would not be drawn out on details of the Medusa project other than to say that it would be set in post-revolutionary France amid events that were similar to many current political conflicts the world over.
Like Girl With a Pearl Earring, the work of art would lead into a wider story that explored multiple themes.
"Anyone who knows their art history will be able to guess which painting the film is about," Webber added with a smile.
Other projects he is working on include two scripts adapted from novels: The Piano Tuner by Daniel Mason and The Colour by Rose Tremain.
The Piano Tuner, set in 1886 in British-ruled Burma, where an eccentric officer orders a grand piano delivered to him deep in a jungle, is to be produced by Mulberry Films and Latitude Media.
But Webber's next film, which he says he is "a week away from completing," is an environmental documentary, Ten Billion, based on a lecture by scientist Stephen Emmott. The documentary deals with climate change and the global extinction crisis.
"Many environmental documentaries finish on a hopeful note," Webber says. "This is different and tells it as it is, delivering a powerful message."