From ‘Precious’ to prison riots: New Attica movie offers an unlikely pairing


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Anyone wondering what ‘Precious’ screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher is doing after that gritty story of the urban poor -- or, for that matter, the next move for Doug Liman, the ‘Swingers’ and ‘Mr & Mrs. Smith’ director -- can wonder no more. The two are collaborating on an independently financed movie about the Attica prison riot of 1971, titled, well, ‘Attica.’ (Caveat: It’s just development, so this likely won’t be on the screen any time soon.)

Liman, who two years back directed the Hayden Christensen teleportation tale ‘Jumper’ -- don’t pretend you don’t own the DVD -- and recently finished a Sean Penn thriller called ‘Fair Game’ that will likely be at Cannes, makes a move in a gritty direction with the real-life story of hot-button guards and prisoners. (Representatives for the project also noted that Liman’s father was chief counsel to the subsequent investigation.)


Fletcher hadn’t written a movie before ‘Precious’ (adapted from the novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire) and hasn’t signed on to do anything since that movie began collecting plaudits -- in fact, he told us recently that he initially conceived of himself more as a director. Now he’ll get to work with one who’s had one of the more unusual careers around.

--Steven Zeitchik