Back in 2009, when Columbia acquired the rights to the gritty British crime drama series Red Riding, director Ridley Scott was thought to be teaming up with writer Steven Zaillian (American Gangster) once again. Though Zaillian is still producing along with Scott, it seems Columbia will go with the hot hand for a screenwriter. Heat Vision reports that James Vanderbilt (Zodiac) will write the adaptation of the popular British TV movie series.
Red Riding is based on four novels by author David Peace. The series, and upcoming adaptation, follows a large cast of characters related to serial killings and police corruption that span the years from 1974 to 1983. After his work on Zodiac, Vanderbilt should feel right at home in this genre. (And for those of you playing 6 Degrees of Separation, Andrew Garfield, who plays Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man, was featured in the original Red Riding series. Perhaps we’ll see him again, working off of another Vanderbilt script?)
For more on Vanderbilt’s upcoming slate of movies, hit the jump.
With as varied a history of screenwriting projects as Vanderbilt has, I wonder if there’s any project he can’t handle. He’s tackled pure action movies in The Rundown and The Losers. He’s shown himself capable of gritty procedurals with Basic, Zodiac and now, Red Riding. Clearly he can handle a bit of the fantastic as he was tapped to write The Amazing Spider-Man and has already been hired for the sequel, as well as polishing up the script for the Total Recall remake.
But why take it from me when you can hear the words of the man himself? Check out Steve’s interview with Vanderbilt that covers almost every movie I just mentioned.
Here’s the synopsis for Nineteen Seventy-Four, the first book in Peace’s Red Riding series:
Nineteen Seventy-Four follows Eddie Dunford, the newly minted crime correspondent for the Yorkshire Post. His first story is about Clare Kemplay, a young girl recently found brutally murdered. While the police department and other crime reporters at the newspaper believe it’s an isolated incident, Eddie finds a pattern between Clare’s disappearance and those of other girls from a few years earlier. Despite his better judgment, and against the advice of others, he starts to dig deep. What he finds is a nightmare of corruption, violence, blackmail, and obsession that ultimately leads to a shocking, explosive conclusion. [Amazon]