HBO, BBC to bring Churchill's clones to life


In what might be the first outing in a potential franchise, HBO Films and BBC have teamed for "A Number," a film based on Caryl Churchill's two-men play to star Tom Wilkinson and Rhys Ifans.

Sources said HBO Films and BBC are looking to do a series of adaptations of small plays like the one-hour "Number." "Number," from Rainmark Films, explores the provocative issue of human cloning through the story of a father (Wilkinson) confronted by the sons he had cloned decades earlier.

Like the play, the adaptation will feature one actor, Ifans, playing the genetically identical cloned sons.

James MacDonald, who directed the original New York staging of "Number," starring Sam Shepard and Dallas Roberts, is on board to helm the adaptation.

Frank Doelger and Tracey Scoffield are executive producing, with Lee Morris serving as a producer.

"Number" marks the first screen adaptation of a play by British playwright Churchill, who is considered one of the most innovative contemporary playwrights and the most acclaimed female one.

The 2002 London production of the play was directed by Stephen Daldry and starred Michael Gambon and Daniel Craig.

Oscar-nominated Wilkinson, who recently signed on to play Benjamin Franklin in the HBO Films miniseries "John Adams," next appears in the features "Michael Clayton," "Cassandra's Dream" and "Dedication." He is repped Principal Entertainment's Larry Taube in the U.S. and Lou Coulson in the U.K.

Ifans most recently appeared in "Hannibal Rising." He is repped by ICM Los Angeles and London and Brillstein-Grey.