William Tell epic gets green light

Ian Quinn will make directorial debut

BERLIN -- Fred Caruso and D. Constantine Conte have given the green light to a $60 million epic based on the legend of Swiss freedom fighter and apple-shooting bowman William Tell.

Ian Quinn, a veteran stunt coordinator, will make his directorial debut with "The Adventures of William Tell," which Caruso and Conte will bankroll through equity financing and their joint pan-European film fund. Cornelius Schrengle will write the script, based on the 19th century play by Friedrich von Schiller.

According to the legend, Tell was forced to shoot an apple off his son's head to win his freedom from Austrian occupiers. The event made him a hero to Swiss freedom fighters, who joined him in a revolt against the Austrian Empire.

Caruso and Conte said they plan to shoot "Tell" on location in Switzerland with a 2010 release target. Swiss-born actress Kiera Chaplin, Charlie Chaplin's granddaughter, will star as Tell's wife.