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Hugh Jackman was also believed to be attached to the project but his agent told THR he was not involved in Lion.
The drama, based on the memoir A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley, follows a street kid from Calcutta (Patel) who is taken in and adopted by a couple in Australia. Garth Davis, who co-directed the Golden Globe-winning mini-series Top Of the Lake with Jane Campion, is attached to helm Lion. Luke Davies, the screenwriter on Anton Corbijn‘s upcoming LIfe, adapted the book for the screen.
The script for Lion, which TWC sent out to key international buyers ahead of the AFM, has generated major buzz and many expect the title to be among the top sellers at this year’s market. TWC bought worldwide rights to Lion, from The King’s Speech producer See-Saw Films, in Cannes for $12 million and views it as a potential awards player.
Patel, the star of Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire, is shaping up to be one of the stars of this year’s market.
In addition to Lion, Patel plays self-taught Indian math genius Srinivasa Ramanujan in Matt Brown‘s period drama The Man Who Knew Infinity, which Mister Smith Entertainment is pitching to buyers; and co-stars in Lionsgate’s Soviet-era thriller Child 44 and Annapurna’s The Road Within, a remake of the hit German dramedy Vincent Wants to Sea.
Patel also appears in John Madden‘s upcoming The Second Best Marigold Hotel, the sequel to the 2011 hit, which Fox Searchlight will release in the U.S. next year.
Oct. 30, 10:19 a.m. Updated with comments from Hugh Jackman’s agent.
Correction: Oct. 30, 11:27 a.m. An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Lion was based on a Vanity Fair article about Brierley, not his memoir. THR regrets the error.
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