Gavin Hood Directs Alaskan-Set "The Cruelest Miles"

1/29/2010 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Matt Jussim

Gavin Hood ("X-Men Origins: Wolverine," "Tsotsi") is in talks to direct an adaptation of Gay and Laney Salisbury's book "The Cruelest Miles" for Walden Media, says The Hollywood Reporter.

According to the Hollywood Reporter: Gavin Hood is in negotiations to direct an untitled Alaskan adventure project for Walden Media, which Mark Johnson is producing.

Based on Gay and Laney Salisbury's book "The Cruelest Miles: The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race Against an Epidemic," the true story centers on a 674-mile journey undertaken by 20 men and 200 dogs who rushed a diphtheria antidote to Nome, Alaska, in 1925.

The group braved temperatures of minus-60 degrees, a phenomenon known as ice fog and other dangers, and it captured the attention of the lower 48 states. One lead dog even got a statue in New York's Central Park.

Sean O'Keefe and Will Staples are penning the script with filming to kick off in the summer. Mark Johnson will produce.

The deal marks the first project for Hood since directing "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," which grossed $373 million worldwide. Hood directed "Tsotsi," a South African film that won the 2006 foreign-language film Oscar as well as "Rendition" for New Line.

Coincidentally enough, the statue mentioned above was featured in the opening scene of the Steven Speilberg produced animated film “Balto” (1995), which was about the same journey.

I think Hood has made a great career move by signing onto this film. It feels more in the vein of “Tsotsi” rather than “Wolverine,” which I think is the best idea for the director. Hood showed he is a true talent on “Tsotsi,” which was set in a slum near Johannesburg, South Africa. The film tells the story of Tsotsi, a young street thug who steals a car only to discover a baby in the back seat.

Although “Wolverine” made a lot of cash, the film was mediocre at best, and “Rendition” was a disappointment as well. I’m hoping that Hood gets back to his award winning ways on this film.

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  1. Hugo said...