Boyle builds helming role for 'Tower'


LONDON -- Danny Boyle, director of Fox Searchlight's upcoming sci-fi thriller "Sunshine," will scale "Ponte Tower" for his next project.

The project centers on a real-life skyscraper in Johannesburg, South Africa, which began its life as a glam address before descending into a gang-infested ghetto tower.

The U.K. Film Council is pumping more than $40,000 into the project, penned by Michael Thomas ("Backbeat"), from the government-backed body's development fund.

The script is being developed from a book by German writer Norman Ohler titled "Ponte City," which details the story of a young woman who moves into the tower and falls under the spell of a charismatic and dangerous drug baron.

Boyle's latest project will be produced by Gina Carter, whose co-producer credits include "24 Hour Party People," and first-timer Frank Kunster.

Previous book-based efforts for Boyle include "Trainspotting" and "The Beach."

It marks only the second feature the filmmaker has embarked on without DNA Films' chief and longtime producing partner Andrew Macdonald since 1994's "Shallow Grave."

Fox Searchlight said Wednesday that "Sunshine" will be released April 5 in the U.K. and Ireland. Macdonald executive produced "Sunshine" for Fox Searchlight through its deal with DNA Films, a company name-checked at Sunday's Oscar ceremony by best actor winner Forest Whitaker for its involvement with "The Last King of Scotland."