Hostage rescue on way to the big screen

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Vertigo Entertainment and Colombian television network and production outfit RCN are teaming to bring to the big screen the story of last week's dramatic rescue of Ingrid Betancourt and 14 other hostages in Colombia.

Colombian filmmaker Simon Brand ("Paradise Travel") is working with the producers to develop and direct the project, which has no writer on board yet. The producers also are looking to meet with financiers and studios in the coming weeks.

Betancourt, a former presidential candidate of Colombian and French descent, along with three Americans as well as Colombian police and soldiers, were held captive — some since 2002 — by rebels form the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC. Colombian forces took acting lessons and spent months planting themselves among the rebels before culminating in a mission that saw the rebels tricked into thinking the captives were being transferred to another camp.

While many in Hollywood were vying for the rights to the story, Vertigo had the inside track on securing the rights thanks to the company's relationship with RCN.

The feature will tell the story from three points of view — the American, the French and the Colombian — and re-create the rescue. Brand is repped by UTA. (partialdiff)
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