Riding Hood to haunt Vancouver

Chloe star Seyfried likely lead in Hardwicke-directed, DiCaprio-produced retelling of fairy tale

Get out your picnic baskets, Vancouver. Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke is set to begin a summer shoot in B.C. on her next project, The Girl with the Red Riding Hood. A retelling of the fairytale, the project will be produced by Leonardo DiCaprio via his production shingle Appian Way and Warner Bros. The film’s budget is in the $40 million range.

Speaking to Playback Daily in advance of her Toronto appearance on March 28 at the upcoming Female Eye Film Festival, Hardwicke said DiCaprio and his screenwriter David Leslie Johnson brought the project to her. ‘It’s an original idea that Leo had for reinventing the story,’ she says. The result, with some additional writing from Rand Ravich, has yielded a story that is, in her words, ‘very sexy, romantic and scary.’

Catherine Hardwicke

While Amanda Seyfried, star of Atom Egoyan’s Chloe, had claimed in a red carpet interview at the Academy Awards that she will play the lead in the new project, Hardwicke was less adamant. She said she would love to have Seyfried in the role but there is no signed deal. ‘The figure her people are looking for and the number the studio wants to pay are not the same,’ she says.

Hardwicke said she is meeting with other potential cast members as well as a costume designer in New York City before heading to Vancouver next week to start scouting.

The director expects to spend the next year on the project and then hopes to follow up with a long-gestating project, itself another re-imagining of a classic: Hamlet, as adapted by Philadelphia screenwriter Ron Nyswaner. Into the Wild star Emile Hirsch is set for the lead. Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen, producers of Milk and American Beauty, will coproduce alongside Michael London, who produced Hardwicke’s critically acclaimed debut 13.