Ever since transitioning from a music career with indie band 10,000 Things, Brit actor Sam Riley has carved out a fairly interesting CV which originated with an outstanding debut in Anton Corbijn's acclaimed Ian Curtis biography "Control" that lead to a run of flops that included sci-fier "Franklyn," action remake "13" and literary adaptation "Brighton Rock." He appears to be heading back in the right direction this year, though, starring as Sal Paradise in Walter Salles' long developing "On The Road" as well as working with Neil Jordan on mother-daughter vampire tale "Byzantium" and starring opposite Angelina Jolie in Disney's "Maleficent."
Riley has now also lined up an upcoming teaming with Iain Softley ("Backbeat," "K-PAX") for an adaptation of Sir Walter Scott's classic historical novel "Ivanhoe," in which he'll play the titular character. Set in 12th century England, the story follows the exploits of Wilfred of Ivanhoe and his struggles in a country where the Saxon population are ruled by the Normans. The novel also features notable characters such as King Richard the Lionheart, Prince John and Robin Hood (known here as Locksley) and his merry men — all of whom played key roles in Ridley Scott's recent "Robin Hood" and should provide solid supporting roles for actors in this film.
Backed by Berlin-based production shingle Egoli Tossell Film New GmbH (ETF) along with Morena Films, Softley has made the unusual decision to shoot in 65mm perhaps hoping to emulate the look of yesteryear's period epics. It'll be the helmer's first theatrical feature since 2008's family-adventurer "Inkheart," and the project has John Brownlow ("Sylvia") and James Jacks on writing duties. [ScreenDaily]