Michaël Roskam's US Career on the Rise
Michaël Roskam, the director of the Oscar nominated film Bullhead, will be working on two new American projects: not only will he be directing The Tiger, a feature film, but he will also be taking charge of a new HBO series Buda Bridge Bitch.
Bullhead helmer Michaël R, Roskam confirmed that he is attached to The Tiger, the adaptation of John Valliant’s bestselling novel. To be produced by Focus Features, Random House Productions and Brad Pitt’s production outfit Plan B, the film is likely to become the director’s first US-made feature.
Roskam (pictured on the right © AMPAS) received several scripts from the States since his feature debut Bullhead got nominated for an Oscar earlier on this year. The Tiger is the first US film project he accepted to do and therefore is likely to become his American directorial debut. Last week, it was announced that he also received the green light from HBO to write and direct the pilot for the series called Buda Bridge Bitch.
It was Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, The Wrestler, Requiem For A Dream) who was initially attached to The Tiger. However he had to let the project go to direct Noah starring Russell Crowe a.o. The next to be put on the project was screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga (Babel, 21 Grams). Roskam will start developing his vision on the story together with a yet to be named scriptwriter.
Based on John Valliant’s bestselling book, The Tiger is the gripping story of man pitted against nature’s most fearsome and efficient predator. Set near a remote village in Russia’s Far East a man-eating tiger is on the prowl. The tiger isn’t just killing people, it’s murdering them, almost as if it has a vendetta. A team of trackers is dispatched to hunt down the tiger before it strikes again. They know the creature is cunning, injured, and starving, making it even more dangerous.
Roskam says to be excited about this new project. ‘The Tiger is a project that is still in its infancy today and that still has a very long way to go. But that is how I like it, to be involved at a very early stage, to give it my signature. Let’s see how it goes. But the target is to have something strong in a year or two. Don’t forget that I’ve still got another project, the Belgian-French Le fidèle that I want to make with Savage Film.’
The Tiger will be produced by Focus Features (Moonrise Kingdom, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), Random House and Brad Pitt’s Plan B. Michaël R. Roskam is represented by UTA, Anonymous Content and AlanWertheimer.
Roskam's second project will be to team up with Michael Mann and Breaking Bad producer Mark Johnson for the development of the futuristic tv noir series Buda Bridge Bitch. US cable network HBO has ordered the pilot script for the series which Roskam, who came with the idea for the story, will write and eventually also direct. He will also get a co-exec producer credit.
Set in and around Brussels, Buda Bridge Bitch unfolds when a mysterious woman is found dead on Buda Bridge, which leads to a series of violent crimes and weird science that bring mayhem to the dark capital of Europe. Besides writing the script for the pilot, Roskam will also develop the series' bible. Mann and Johnson are involved as executive producers.
The script in development and HBO interest are all a direct result of the awards season activity on Roskam’s critical success Bullhead, which a.o. got the director signed with UTA. He's managed by Anonymous Content.
As chair of the Academy Foreign Language Film Selection Committee, Mark Johnson met Roskam after his film was nominated. Michael Mann had the honour of presenting Roskam with his certificate of nomination (pictured © AMPAS). Both film execs were Bullhead fans from the start. When in the months afterwards Mann and Johnson were looking to work on a project together, they invited Roskam to pitch: “I was given the chance to pitch my ideas to Michael Mann and Mark Johnson. They were immediately convinced and from there we went to HBO and managed to ‘sell’ the series.”
Roskam: “The assignment now is to develop the bible and to write the pilot. Once these get HBO’s ok, we can direct the pilot and get together a ‘writers room’ to collaborate on the rest of the show.”
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