HARRY POTTER Director David Yates to Take on Stephen King’s THE STAND or Al Capone Film CICERO Starring Tom Hardy?

     July 14, 2011


The most successful franchise in film history comes to an end with tonight’s midnight opening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. Director David Yates has been at the helm of the last three (or four, if you count Deathly Hallows as two films) Harry Potter entries, and he’s done a remarkable job bringing the series to a close. Now that the director is out of Potter books to adapt, everyone wants to know what he’ll be doing next. Given his great success with the franchise, he’s pretty much got his pick of the litter.

When Steve recently sat down with Yates, the director stated his intention to make a really small film next year before diving back into big-budget studio fare. What might that big-budget studio fare be? Well reports have surfaced suggesting he’s eyeing an adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand as well as an Al Capone origin story called Cicero to possibly star Tom Hardy, in addition to a number of other projects on the director’s radar. Hit the jump for the details.

the-stand-book-coverWhile Yates is obviously eager to take some time off after releasing two ginormous films back-to-back, Vulture reports that the director is flying into town tomorrow to meet with Warner Bros. to discuss an adaption of King’s supernatural novel The Stand. Yates has apparently been re-reading King’s epic, and will decide in the next two weeks whether he wants to make the picture. Warner Bros. is hoping to split the massive book into three parts, from which the material will benefit monetarily creatively.

The director is certainly familiar with multi-film adaptations of beloved novels, but is he ready to jump into another one right away? Only time will tell, but if he’s got an interesting take on King’s saga, I’m all for it.

Lest you think Yates only has one big-budget film on his plate, the director is also apparently developing an Al Capone origin story called Cicero that Tom Hardy just attached himself to. The project was initially written as a TV pilot in the 1970’s, but has now been readapted for film. Again, Warner Bros. is eyeing a possible franchise or trilogy of films, with the first documenting the gangster’s rise to fame. While it’s extremely weird to think that a biopic trilogy could be a thing that exists, the prospect of Yates taking on a straight-up drama with no supernatural qualities is highly intriguing.

al-capone-imageVulture’s report states that Yates will be discussing the possibility of filming Cicero before Hardy moves on to shoot George Miller’s Mad Max reboot Fury Road next spring. However, Yates told Steve that he plans on filming his smaller movie sometime next year, so it’s unknown whether he’s simply considering the possibility, or would be willing to move his smaller project back to fit in with Hardy’s schedule.

But that’s not all, folks! Yates is also being courted by Warner Bros. to direct an adaptation of the comic book series Fables. That series follows the comings and goings of your favorite fairy tale characters going about their everyday lives in Manhattan’s Upper West Side (not unlike NBC’s new series Once Upon a Time). The Big-Bad-Wolf is the sheriff, who is investigating the death of Snow White’s party-girl sister (everyone knows the Whites cannot hold their liquor). The prime suspect is, of course, her ex-boyfriend Jack of Jack and the Beanstalk fame.

In addition to Fables, another project on Yates’ plate is an adaptation of Jonathan Tropper’s novel This is Where I Leave You. The story is a snarky family comedy that focuses on a man who, following the implosion of his marriage, is forced to travel home and sit shiva for his father.

It’s not hard to imagine that Yates is currently being offered everything under the sun. His work on Harry Potter has been fantastic, combining both grandiose action and quiet character work with expert precision. Personally, I’d love to see him take a step back and do a small dramatic film. In his interview with Steve he said he felt it was important to slow down and get his bearings back as a director for fear of becoming too indulgent with bloated big-budget projects.

However, none of the aforementioned properties seem ill-fitted for Yates’ sensibilities (though Fables sounds a bit redundant), so it’s really win-win. Warner Bros. sounds bent on keeping the director in-house, as the studio has done with Christopher Nolan, and if that means he gets to make dramatic and thought-provoking films his way, I say more power to him.

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