Murphy to film Banks' 'Gift From the Culture'

Adaptation of Scottish author's sci-fi series of books

LONDON -- British helmer Dominic Murphy is hoping to bring one of Scottish author Iain M. Banks' sci-fi series of books -- set in a fictional anarchist, socialistic, and utopian society named "The Culture" -- to the big screen.

Murphy, who teamed with Mike Downey and Sam Taylor's finance-production house Film & Music Entertainment to make projects under the resurrected MASS Productions banner in December last year, is looking to the adaptation as a key project from the resurrected production stable.

The filmmaker, whose debut feature "White Lightnin' " world premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, is writing a script with "Lightnin' " scribe Shane Smith.

The duo are adapting Banks' "A Gift from the Culture," which details the tale of an ex-citizen of the Culture being blackmailed into using a special Culture-only weapon to shoot down a military starship.

Murphy, Downey and Taylor are also developing an "Untitled Bronte Project" movie about the relationships between the four Bronte children and Angria the miniature fictional children's world that they created under the MAAS Productions banner.

Also on the MASS slate is the Biafra-set "Jesus Christ Airlines," currently being scripted by Kit Peel. Peel, a former journalist on the African circuit and opera libretto writer, is about to deliver his version of the events in the lives of one family set against the backdrop of the Biafra Airlift.