NEWS
Kon-Tiki directors eyed for Arsene Lupin feature

By Liza Foreman

LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - Espen Sandberg and Joachim Ronning, the directors of the Norwegian film "Kon-Tiki," are among the directors being eyed for an upcoming feature about another great European character, Arsene Lupin, a gentlemen thief, an individual close to the project told TheWrap.

The two men have been much in demand since "Kon-Tiki" played at the Toronto Film Festival in September.

Based on the story of real-life Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl, who used a raft called Kon-Tiki to cross the Pacific in 1947, the film is this year's Norwegian foreign-Oscar entry.

It was picked up by the Weinstein Company earlier this month, and the co-directors are doing the rounds in Hollywood to promote the film.

The new film, "Arsene Lupin AKA Once a Thief," is based on the classic series French detective novels and short stories written by Maurice Leblanc in the early 1900s.

It's being produced by Dan Lin of Lin Pictures and Roy Lee of Vertigo Entertainment and is set up at Warner Bros.

Lin is the producer of the current crop of Sherlock Holmes films, and Lupin is known as being to the French what Sherlock Holmes is to the English-speaking world. A force for good who operates on the wrong side of the law, he was introduced 1905 serialization in the French magazine, Je Sais Tout.

A large number of feature films already have been made about the character, including "Arsene Lupin," in 1932, with John Barrymore, as well as a number of Japanese films.

Lee is currently filming "Oldboy" and has a number of high-profile films in the works, including "Godzilla," "Sleepless Night" and "Run All Night AKA All-Nighter." Lin's credits include not only the Sherlock Holmes films but "Godzilla" and the upcoming "Lego: The Piece of Resistance."

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