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The Tom Hanks-starrer News of the World is making the jump to Universal from the recently shuttered Fox 2000.
Paul Greengrass is set to direct Hanks in the adaptation of the Paulette Jiles novel set in the aftermath of the Civil War.
Luke Davies, who penned Lion, wrote the script that tells of a widowed news reader who travels from town to town in Texas announcing the news of the times. He is given a handsome sum to deliver a young orphan girl, whose parents were killed by a Native American tribe who then raised her as their own, to her family in San Antonio. The duo travel 400 miles through dangerous terrain, slowly developing a bond that will be tested when the man must give the girl up to relatives that not only don’t want her but have abusive plans for her.
Hanks and Gary Goetzman are producing through Playtone with Gail Mutrux through Pretty Pictures.
In late March, in a surprise move, Disney shuttered the Elizabeth Gabler-headed Fox 2000 label. It was expected that the label, which specialized in mid-budget book-to-film adaptations, would continue operations after Disney’s acquisition. Fox 2000 titles that are in production — The Woman in the Window, starring Amy Adams and Gary Oldman, and The Art of Racing in the Rain — are still to receive releases from Disney. (Gabler is expected to land at another studio.)
News of the World is the first project to make the jump from Fox, post-merger.
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