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Danny Boyle

As Danny Boyle’s new stage production of Frankenstein goes into previews at London’s National Theatre, his Oscar-nominated screenwriting collaborator Simon Beaufoy is working on a film project set in gangland Los Angeles.

It’s a venture called Sharp Teeth, and Beaufoy is hoping that Danny Boyle will jump onboard. He says: “If I write it well enough, he’ll direct it.”

As he explains, “It’s an adaptation of a book by a writer called Toby Barlow and it’s a very extraordinary mix of gangland Los Angeles, really, really rough — a lot of shootings — and the difference with this particular piece of work is that these gangs can shape-shift at will into packs of dogs.”

Simon Beaufoy has been researching his screenplay by riding along with the Los Angeles police. He’s found the experience refreshing: “It’s brilliant seeing a different part of L.A. When you’re involved with the movie industry and you go to awards ceremonies you miss out on what 90 per cent of what L.A. is, which is hard-working people, lots of unemployment, lots of really difficult social issues.”

There’s no word yet on who would headline the cast if the project comes to fruition. But it would bring Beaufoy together with not only Danny Boyle but also producer Chris Colson. They all collaborated to create the Oscar-adorned Slumdog Millionaire as well as 127 Hours. Colson says, “We love working with each other – and we all somehow find ways to get the best out of each other.”

Next stop for Simon Beaufoy is Oscars night, where he’s up for a best adapted screenplay award for 127 Hours which he co-wrote with Boyle. On that front their chances are slim: the favorite in that category is The Social Network screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, who’s widely considered the frontrunner.

Tom Brook‘s reports on cinema can be seen every Tuesday and Thursday morning on BBC America.

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By Tom Brook