The 2008 thriller, The Escapist, introduced us to the British director, Rupert Wyatt. And if you weren’t familiar with that particular work, then you would have recognized his second movie, which was much more popular: Rise of the Planet of the Apes. After finding a lot of success with that film, and opting not to direct its sequel, the director has now found his next film with the adaptation of Sebastian Faulks’ novel, Birdsong.
Birdsong is mostly centered on an Englishman named Stephen Wraysford, and the events of his life that take place before, during and after the first world war. Faulks’ novel portrays the fervent love affair between Stephen and a married French woman, and his gruesome experiences at the trenches.
BBC originally adapted the novel in an excellent two-part miniseries that featured Eddie Redmayne as the protagonist and Clémence Poésy as the illicit lover. The adaptation focused mainly on the events that occurred from 1910 to 1918, excluding the ’70’s storyline. The television miniseries acquired quite a number of BAFTA nominations last year and received much acclaim. With the book’s wonderful plot and BBC’s successful adaptation, it’s no surprise that Wyatt would be drawn to creating his own rendition.
Wyatt has written the script and will direct the film and the project will be supported by the UK company, Embankment Films, which will be representing the movie at the European Film Market. Embankment will also be representing Andy Serkis’ adaptation of Animal Farm and the sci-fi movie, Our Robot Overlords.
Wyatt’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a commercial success. The director pretty much revived the franchise with some dazzling special effects but with Birdsong, he will be tackling something quite different, as he deals with a love story that’s portrayed vividly by the dreadful elements of war and death. I think it will be interesting to watch his take on Faulks’ novel though. Wyatt might bring something fresh to the table with his version and perhaps his approach might even include the events of the late ’70’s. And if it’s executed properly, it may even garner him a couple of awards.
Birdsong is still in its pre-production stage but we’ll keep you updated when new info arrives.