Murder for Winterbottom

Britain’s most prolific filmmaker, Michael Winterbottom, produces seven movies before most people have finished their cornflakes. So it’s no surprise that he’s already lined up his next two outings.

He’s optioned memoir Murder In Samarkand, written by Craig Murray, former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan. Murray was sacked in 2004 after listening to his conscience and highlighting human rights abuses and torture in the country. The book hits shelves in June.

And Winterbottom’s A Cock And Bull Story star Steve Coogan is top of his list to play Murray. But before they can even consider starting, Winterbottom wants to fit in another film, Genova, a ghost story set in Italy. Penned by Laurence Coriat (who last worked with Winterbottom on Wonderland), Genova follows two American girls who move to Italy with their British father after their mother dies.

And if that’s not enough, Winterbottom was planning another job – directing Coogan as an astronaut for a space-set drama, but while they planned to use Danny Boyle’s Sunshine sets after Boyle was finished, a deal couldn’t be worked out. Frankly, we’re disappointed. We’d hoped Winterbottom would break into the set and shoot a 16-hour epic during one of the Sunshine crew’s tea breaks.

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