Judy Morris penning Muslim spy script

Project based on biography of Shrabani Basu

LONDON -- Multihyphenate Judy Morris has been tasked with penning a script based on the biography of Shrabani Basu, a Muslim secret agent who was awarded the George Cross and the Croix de Guerre by the British and French governments, respectively.

An actress, director and producer in addition to her writing endeavors, Morris is more used to penning children's movies, having been a writer on both "Happy Feet" and "Babe: Pig In the City."

Backed by U.K.-based production and finance label Film and Music Entertainment, the $15 million picture is out to directors and aims to go into production before the end of the year.

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F&ME co-chief Mike Downey described Basu as an unlikely hero. "She was certainly no Mata Hari," Downey said. "She was not a crack shot, not endowed with great physical skills and was a far cry from a spy novel prototype, and it is exactly these qualities that make her character totally suitable as the subject for a film. She is, in effect, an anti-spy. The spy who cannot lie."

Downey and company are in Berlin at the European Film Market meeting with financiers and partners on its fresh slate of productions.

Other titles on F&ME's roster include "Streetkids United," directed by veteran documentarist Tim Pritchard; the long-gestating adaptation of Clifford Irving's biography of notorious art cheat Elmyr de Hory, "FAKE!"; and Dominic Murphy's "A Gift From the Culture," the director's follow-up to last year's Berlinale entry "White Lightnin'."
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