Three Directors For Ripper Trilogy

Jarrold, Marsh & Anand go to Yorkshire

Well so long Tolkien and move over Shakespeare - there's a new talented British writer with work to be turned into films. His name is David Pearce, and he's already supplied the material for the in-production The Damned United, about Brian Clough. Now his series of four novels about the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe, are to be adapted into a trilogy of films for both TV and cinemas.

The films tell the story of the hunt for the serial killer dubbed the Yorkshire Ripper, who killed at least 13 women between 1975 and his capture in 1981. The story of these films, however, will include a look at the police corruption and perversion of justice that marred the hunt, leaving Sutcliffe free to kill.

In the new tradition of the upcoming Tintin movies, each story will be handled by a different director. Becoming Jane's Julian Jarrold will direct Nineteen Seventy Four; Man On Wire (which is out soon, and is very, very good)'s James Marsh will direct Nineteen Eighty; and Anand Tucker (Shopgirl) will direct the final instalment, Nineteen Eighty Three. The second book in the series, Nineteen Seventy Seven, is being folded into the other three films by Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas' Tony Grisoni.

The films will initially be shown on TV, but a cinema release is likely here afterwards, and they're to be sold to other countries for a cinema release from the start, so it counts as movie news, honest. That said, the films are budgeted at $10 million in total, or rather less than the hairdressing budget of M:i:II (probably) so don't expect a very starry cast.