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It’s fun to see the development of the careers of Robert Pattinson and Daniel Radcliffe to have similar careers after their respective tween franchises ended. Radcliffe has been canny with his post-Potter gigs, choosing projects that better straddle art and mainstream.

Pattinson has gone more for the weird when it comes to gigs outside Twilight. (Both the intentionally weird, and the unwittingly so.) And he’s got another gig with Cronenberg in the works now, a job with Werner Herzog, and a role in The Rover, from Animal Kingdom director David Michôd. That’s good company to be in.

Now add The Lost City of Z, to be directed by James Gray based on the book by David Grann about doomed Amazon explorer Colonel Percy Harrison Fawcett. Read More »

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Benedict Cumberbatch

Only time will tell whether there’s any truth to those Star Wars Episode VII rumors, but in the meantime Benedict Cumberbatch has booked himself a different juicy new role. The Brit actor is in negotiations for The Lost City of Z, based on David Grann‘s book about the real-life mystery of explorer Percy Fawcett.

The project has been developing for years, but this is the first major step forward we’ve heard about in quite some time. James Gray (We Own the Night) remains attached to direct from his own adapted screenplay. Hit the jump to get some background on the project, and to learn more about Fawcett’s fascinating story.

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Every time a new Brad Pitt project comes up, a number of comments inevitably pose this question: “what about The Lost City of Z?” That’s the adaptation of David Grann‘s book about an expedition into the Amazon to find a lost city. It has been simmering since late 2008; James Grey has been slated to direct. Now we have an answer to the question: Brad Pitt will no longer be making an expedition into the rainforest, at least as part of this project. Read More »

James Gray To Direct Brad Pitt in The Lost City of Z

We Own The Night director James Gray has signed on to direct Brad Pitt in the big screen adaptation of The Lost City of Z. David Grann’s nonfiction book will be published by Doubleday on February 24th 2009 (available for preorder on Amazon for $18). The official plot synopsis follows:

“A grand mystery reaching back centuries. A sensational disappearance that made headlines around the world. A quest for truth that leads to death, madness or disappearance for those who seek to solve it. The Lost City of Z is a blockbuster adventure narrative about what lies beneath the impenetrable jungle canopy of the Amazon. After stumbling upon a hidden trove of diaries, acclaimed New Yorker writer David Grann set out to solve “the greatest exploration mystery of the twentieth century”: What happened to the British explorer Percy Fawcett and his quest for the Lost City of Z?

In 1925 Fawcett ventured into the Amazon to find an ancient civilization, hoping to make one of the most important discoveries in history. For centuries Europeans believed the world’s largest jungle concealed the glittering kingdom of El Dorado. Thousands had died looking for it, leaving many scientists convinced that the Amazon was truly inimical to humankind. But Fawcett, whose daring expeditions helped inspire Conan Doyle’s The Lost World, had spent years building his scientific case. Captivating the imagination of millions around the globe, Fawcett embarked with his twenty-one-year-old son, determined to prove that this ancient civilization—which he dubbed “Z”—existed. Then he and his expedition vanished.

Fawcett’s fate—and the tantalizing clues he left behind about “Z”—became an obsession for hundreds who followed him into the uncharted wilderness. For decades scientists and adventurers have searched for evidence of Fawcett’s party and the lost City of Z. Countless have perished, been captured by tribes, or gone mad. As David Grann delved ever deeper into the mystery surrounding Fawcett’s quest, and the greater mystery of what lies within the Amazon, he found himself, like the generations who preceded him, being irresistibly drawn into the jungle’s “green hell.” His quest for the truth and his stunning discoveries about Fawcett’s fate and “Z” form the heart of this complex, enthralling narrative.”

Gray tells Variety that it is “a story that will be told with an epic scale, with a main character who is larger than life.” Pitt would, of course, play the British explorer who is listed as one of the inspirations for Indiana Jones.

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