EXCLUSIVE: The Nile Hilton Incident director Tarik Saleh has become attached to helm The Red Circle, a remake of Jean-Pierre Melville’s classic 1970 cat-and-mouse thriller. Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, an Oscar nominee for Dirty Pretty Things, has written the script. Arthur Sarkissian Prods and Graham King’s GK Films are partnered to produce with Studiocanal which fully-financed development.
The project has been in the works for a while, but now has real momentum. I understand Knight recently met with Saleh in London to discuss, and Saleh is now doing his own work within the current draft before going out to cast. Miss Sloane scribe Johnathan Perera has also done work on the script.
The updated story follows two escaped criminals from the West and an ex Hong Kong cop who plan an elaborate heist while trying to avoid a local crime boss and a relentless police investigator.
Saleh is a fast-rising talent. He wrote and directed The Nile Hilton Incident, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, as well as Best Film and four other prizes at the Swedish Guldbagge Awards and was nominated for a César Award for Best Foreign Film. His other work includes the 2009 animated film Metropia and 2014 crime thriller Tommy. Saleh also recently directed an episode of HBO’s Westworld and also has the Liam Neeson starrer Charlie Johnson in the Flames, based on the Michael Ignatieff thriller novel. Saleh is repped by Gersh.
The busy Knight wrote and is exec producing Apple’s upcoming world-building drama See, and penned Sony’s The Girl in the Spider’s Web, which releases in November. His next turn at directing, Serenity, will be released by Aviron domestically on October 19. He’s also got Season 2 of Tom Hardy FX drama Taboo and the 5th season of this year’s BAFTA-winner for Best Drama, Peaky Blinders, on deck. Knight is repped by United Agents, CAA and Magnolia Entertainment
The Departed Oscar winner King has Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody at Fox, which comes out in November. Sarkissian most recently produced last year’s Jackie Chan hit The Foreigner. Studiocanal is currently in post-production on Marjane Satrapi’s Marie Curie story Radioactive and the David Heyman-produced The Secret Garden. The company’s Ron Halpern is overseeing The Red Circle.