At last year’s Berlin Film Festival, first-time director Yann Demange’s feature film ’71 debuted to an enthusiastic and thunderous response. Starring the up and coming Jack O’Connell – who’s already managed to impress audiences with his turns in Starred Up and Unbroken – the film followed a British soldier separated from his platoon in a Belfast neighborhood in 1971. That film has made Demange one of the more desired young directors in Britain, and now Deadline reports that Sony may be the first U.S. studio to nab the director, as they are in the process of hiring him for their upcoming feature The Seven Five.
The film is based on the documentary of the same name by filmmaker Tiller Russel. It tells the story of the 75th precinct of the NYPD and Michael Dowd, one of their officers, who between 1986 and 1992 was involved in numerous crimes including theft, assault, and drug dealing. The case against Dowd ultimately revealed the levels of corruption within the police department, and earned him fourteen years in prison. Sony had previously won an auction for the adaptation rights for the story, and have since enlisted the services of John Lesher and Megan Ellison, the producing team behind Birdman and Foxcatcher. Along with them, Eli Holzman, who produced the original documentary, will produce The Seven Five.
Yann Demange is said to be in final talks with Sony over directing the project, and seems to be an ideal fit for a gritty, biting story of police corruption in 80s-era New York.