March 26, 2008 / 1:33 AM / 10 years ago

Kapur subs for Minghella on "New York" film

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - The director who brought Elizabethan England to the big screen will carry on the legacy of a modern British institution.

Director Shekhar Kapur poses for photographers at the Australian premiere of his new film "Elizabeth-The Golden Age" in Sydney November 3, 2007. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne

Shekhar Kapur, the Indian-born helmer of “Elizabeth” and “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” will direct one of the last pieces of writing from the late Anthony Minghella, a segment of the urban ode “New York, I Love You.”

Minghella, the Oscar-winning director of “The English Patient” who died in a London hospital last week after a short illness, had written but not cast or shot his segment of the episodic film, which was to have begun shooting in April in Manhattan.

According to Kapur, Minghella had asked him to carry out his vision shortly before going in for cancer surgery two weeks ago.

“He told me his film was about the value of life and how people sometimes just throw away their lives, unable to look beyond into the real beauty of it,” Kapur wrote on his blog. “I will direct the film now — with Anthony in my heart and in presence of his soul.”

Two of the film’s producers, Marina Grasic and Emmanuel Benbihy, confirmed the Kapur attachment.

“Anthony chose Shekhar Kapur to direct the segment he wrote for our film knowing that Kapur would have the deepest respect for his vision. We look forward to working with Shekhar Kapur,” they said.

The film, which was to have starred Minghella’s son Max before the young actor bowed out several weeks ago, will be set on New York’s Upper East Side and can be described as a “spiritual love story,” producers said.

Kapur is best known for his twin “Elizabeth” pictures, which earned a pair of Oscar nominations for star Cate Blanchett. He also is attached to direct the adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” series for Fox.

The status of several other Minghella film projects — including the Weinstein Co.’s “The Ninth Life of Louis Drax” and Miramax’s “The Resurrectionist” — remains uncertain.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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