Despite taking home the Academy Award last year for Best Original Screenplay, David Seidler‘s writing credits are nowhere near as impressive as you’d imagine for an Oscar-winning writer of his age. The oldest ever winner of the Original Screenplay Oscar had found himself mostly writing TV movies in recent years, and his most notable credit came back in 1988 with Francis Ford Coppola’s “Tucker: The Man and His Dream.” But winning such a big award for “The King’s Speech” opens a lot of doors, and it makes sites like this one pay attention to what the writer’s next project might be.
ScreenDaily reports that Seidler is working on an adaptation of Alexander Pushkin‘s “Queen of Spades” for the Russian Art Pictures Studio. “Queen of Spades” is a nineteenth century Russian short story of a man becomes obsessed with the tale of a woman who lost a fortune playing cards but won it all back with the secret of three winning cards. Cannes veteran Pavel Lungin (“Taxi Blues,” “Luna Park,” “The Wedding“) is attached to direct the film, which will feature music from the Russian composer Tchaikovsky (who based an opera on the short story) and has an estimated budget of around 12 million euros.
We’d assume that with Seidler writing the script, this project will be in the English language, but it certainly seems like a tough sell for audiences outside of Russia. What little we’ve read in terms of plot synopsis for Pushkin’s story sounds like a very slight morality tale — no more than a fable — and Seidler will have his work cut out crafting this one into a compelling feature. But he did transform a story about a stuttering King into an Oscar-winning behemoth, so we’ll be sure not to underestimate his talents in this case either. We presume this also his means his gestating WWII script “Games Of 1940” and possible reteam with director Tom Hooper on “The Lady Who Went Too Far” is on hold for now.