Neil Jordan to direct new female vampire movie

Sun May 15, 2011 10:26pm EDT
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By Stuart Kemp

CANNES (Hollywood Reporter) - Oscar-winning filmmaker Neil Jordan is reuniting with producer Stephen Woolley to make "Byzantium," a female vampire movie with Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton as the lead bloodsuckers.

The original script is penned by Moira Buffini and details the story of a mother vampire who turns her own daughter into a vampire and the pair form a lethal partnership, sometimes posing as sisters.

The $11 million budgeted movie is set to shoot in October.

Jordan and Woolley have made several movies dating back to 1984's "The Company of Wolves," based on Angela Carter's novel.

Woolley produced Jordan's Oscar-winning "The Crying Game." They last worked together on "Breakfast on Pluto" in 2005.

"I love the horror genre and we've been working on this for three or four years. I sent it to Neil and he liked the script," Woolley said. "We'd both recently revisited Angela Carter's book and it was just chance that when I called, we were thinking along the same lines."

The original script is based on a youth theater play by Buffini but has been taken to a slightly more adult, darker level, Woolley said.

Woolley is gearing up to shoot the Mike Newell-directed adaptation of Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations," penned by David Nicholls.

Cast includes Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes and Jeremy Irvine. It is backed by BBC Films and the British Film Institute.