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Genre Development: Sci-Fi Runner Lures Forster; Firth, Kidman & Wasikowska’s Stoker; After Dogtooth

Genre Development: Sci-Fi Runner Lures Forster; Firth, Kidman & Wasikowska's Stoker; After Dogtooth

The Runner is a futuristic sci-fi story about how the earth’s surface is made uninhabitable by an attack and a group of survivors in the Rocky Mountains discover a way to send a man back in time to stop the devastation. But the man they send is secretly motivated by saving the love of his life. Disney is now developing The Runner as a vehicle for director Marc Forster (Finding Neverland, Quantum of Solace); Imagine’s Brian Grazer is producing alongside Brad Simpson, Forster’s Apparatus Entertainment partner. Dave Andron, who originated the concept with Blacklight Transmedia, will write the script. Imagine and Disney are aiming for a transmedia franchise with The Runner intended for simultaneous TV, video game, graphic novel and hand-held interactive content.

Disney also has sci-fi apocalyptico Oblivion, based on Radical Publishing’s graphic novel, being adapted by William Monahan (The Departed) for director Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy).

Forster, who just completed Machine Gun Preacher with testosterone-poster-boy Gerard Butler, has a handful of directing projects in the works, including The Chancellor Manuscript, a crime thriller based on Robert Ludlam’s 1984 novel (Leonardo DiCaprio is a producer), action-horror-sci-fi zombie flick World War Z, based on the 2007 Max Brooks novel (Brad Pitt is attached to star) and Angelology, based on Danielle Trussoni’s novel, published last month and in the vein of religious-suspense-thriller The Da Vinci Code

– Oscar winners Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman will co-star with Jane Eyre‘s Mia Wasikowska in Stoker, written by Wentworth Miller and allegedly inspired by Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The story follows a girl (Wasikowska) named India and her mother (Kidman) who are visited by a mysterious uncle (Firth) following the death of the girl’s father. Firth’s role will be less noble and more savage than his recent roles. He recently told BBC Radio 4: “I want to do something that amuses me now that changes the pace, changes the tone, continues my long tradition of making a fool of myself.” Firth has wrapped Tomas Alfredson’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, based on John Le Carre’s spy novel (co-starring Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman; it hits UK theaters September 16) and is slated for the Coen Brothers’ reworking of Gambit alongside Cameron Diaz (director Michael Hoffman is in pre-production).

– The fact that Greek film Dogtooth was nominated for a Best Foreign Language film was a surprise to many, as it is both unconventional and shocking (watch the trailer below and stream it on Netflix). Now, director Giorgos Lanthimos tells 24 Frames that his next film, Alps, will be “darker and funnier. It goes to each extreme a little bit more,” he says. Alps will star Dogtooth‘s Aggeliki Papoulia. It is about a group of grieving people who stand in for each other’s lost loved ones, replicating everything down to their gestures. The film is currently in the editing room, and Lanthimos hopes to bring it to Cannes this year, where Dogtooth won Un Certain Regard in 2009.

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