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Yann Demange is developing an adaptation of a film by Ken Loach, with plans to transplant the story from the U.K. to the U.S. and cast a female in the lead.
Although he didn’t want to reveal which particular film it was, the rising Brit director, who introduced his second feature White Boy Rick in Toronto on Friday, told The Hollywood Reporter that he is teaming with Paris-based Why Not Productions, which produced Loach’s five previous titles (alongside Jacques Audiard’s Venice-bowing The Sisters Brothers), on the project.
“We’re going to be true to the politics of the film, but we’re turning it into a very exciting genre movie with a great female lead,” said Demange, adding that he was inspired by the way Audiard took James Toback’s 1978 drama Fingers and adapted it into 2005’s The Beat That My Heart Skipped.
“It’s a U.K. film and we’re taking it to America, because the politics are pertinent to what’s going on,” he said, dismissing any thoughts of an action-thriller interpretation of Kes.
Although Loach has given his blessing, the two-time Palme d’Or winner isn’t set to be involved in the project, which Demange said would be made by an all-European production and filmmaking team, but with a U.S. cast.
“It’s something we’re excited about and right now I’m putting a lot of attention into it,” said Demange, who also is among the favorites to helm the 25th installment in the James Bond franchise following the recent departure of Danny Boyle.
The director, whose acclaimed 2014 debut ’71 marked him out as one of the hottest new filmmakers in town, described Loach as his hero.
“He’s consistently hitting them out of the park,” said Demange. “He’s a mammoth of cinema, who gets completely underrated in his own country, and it’s a travesty.”
This story also appears in The Hollywood Reporter’s Sept. 9 daily issue at the Toronto International Film Festival.
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