Polanski to direct `Blair` film
Roman Polanski will direct a film based on a thriller about a former British prime minister rumoured to be modelled on Tony Blair, he said Thursday.
The movie will be adapted from Robert Harris`s novel "The Ghost", in which former premier Adam Lang, who is facing the threat of a war crimes trial, hires a ghostwriter to write his memoirs.
Rumours that Lang is based on Blair peppered the British press when the book came out in October, with journalists highlighting that Blair recently signed a contract to pen his memoirs and was a key backer of the "war on terror".
In addition, Harris, whose most famous book is "Fatherland", is a former senior political journalist in Britain and one-time friend of Blair who became disillusioned with him several years ago.
"I have been looking for a political thriller to direct for some time and `The Ghost` could not be more perfect," Polanski, who won the best director Oscar in 2003 for "The Pianist", said in a statement.
Polanski, a French citizen, will co-write the screenplay with Harris and filming will start next year.
The production could encounter some problems, though -- while the book is set in Martha`s Vineyard, Polanski has not returned to the United States since jumping bail in 1977 after being charged with unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl.
He played down the problem, saying: "It doesn`t really matter where you do it... it just has to be somewhere on the Atlantic off-season where you have dunes and empty roads and unlived-in holiday homes."