In only five short years, Justin Kurzel will have explored the dark mystery of the Snowtown murders, delved into the depths of Old English text for a fierce Shakespearean adaptation, and soon a trip back in time with Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard et al. for Ubisoft Motion Pictures’ Assassin’s Creed feature film. It’s a markedly diverse palette for such a short period of time, and it looks as though the Australian filmmaker is set to circle back to reality for his next creative venture: a thriller based on the 2008 Taj Mahal terrorist attack.
Lifting inspiration from Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark’s real-life novel The Siege: 68 Hours Inside The Taj Hotel, Kurzel’s latest has set up shop at StudioCanal, who have instated The Theory of Everything scribe Anthony McCarten to adapt the source material for screen. Telling the horrific tale that unfolded around the famed Indian tourist destination seven years ago, The Siege recounts how a group of dangerous Pakistani militants take control of the postcard-esque resort.
Such a heinous act eventually spawned a gruelling hostage situation that played out across a 68-hour period, during which time blood was shed and tears were spilled, with the total death count standing at 31. Once the dust had settled, Indian officials praised the brave staff and guests of the Taj Mahal who threw their life on the line in order to save some of the more vulnerable citizens caught in the crossfire. Had they not, the total death count would have inevitably been much higher.
Should Justin Kurzel and StudioCanal seal the deal for The Siege, the director would likely begin filming the real-life hostage drama before the end of 2016, once production has wrapped up on his starry live-action rendition of Assassin’s Creed.