Paul Haggis To Write The Juliet

Adapting Alfred Bester for Rupert Sanders

Paul Haggis director

He was recently attached to the developing live-action Ghost In The Shell, but director Rupert Sanders (Snow White And The Huntsman) is also juggling sci-fi crime thriller The Juliet. The latter, adapted from Alfred Bester's short story Fondly Fahrenheit, now has a new screenwriter: Paul Haggis has signed up to take a crack at the latest draft.

Bester's most famous works are the novels The Stars My Destination and The Demolished Man. Fondly Fahrenheit was written in between those two stonking sci-fi classics in 1954, and involves a rich, psychologically unstable playboy who projects his personality into his murderously malfunctioning pet android. Bester himself adapted it for television in 1959 as Murder And The Android, part of the hour-long NBC Sunday Showcase series.

The new version started life at Sony, but is now at Warner Bros. under the aegis of production company Atlas Entertainment. Previous versions of the script have been knocked out by Henry Bean (Basic Instinct 2) and the writing team of Brian Koppelman and David Levien (Runner, Runner), so Haggis may simply be providing a polish, or he may be starting over from scratch.

Whichever it is, he certainly brings some heavyweight experience to the project. Haggis previously wrote Million Dollar Baby, Flags Of Our Fathers and Casino Royale, and directed his own scripts for Crash, In The Valley Of Elah, The Next Three Days and, most recently, the romantic drama Third Person with Liam Neeson and Olivia Wilde.

Despite its lengthy gestation, it looks as if Sanders will get to The Juliet before Ghost In The Shell (or the Napoleon biopic that he's also got on the boil). It's currently vaguely slated for release sometime in 2015, although that could obviously change.

Third Person, meanwhile, played at TIFF last year but doesn't have a UK release date so far. And if you want to read Fondly Fahrenheit, it's in the Bester collection Virtual Unrealities, published in the US by Vintage.