AUTHORIZED IAN CURTIS/JOY DIVISION FILM TO BE PRODUCED BY CLARAFLORA WITH COOPERATION OF DEBORAH CURTIS
EXCLUSIVE OPTION GRANTED TO ORIAN WILLIAMS AND TODD ECKERT OF CLARAFLORA FOR BIOGRAPHY TOUCHING FROM A DISTANCE
The exclusive option for film rights to the Ian Curtis biography “Touching From a Distance” was granted to the Los Angeles and Pittsburgh-based production company Claraflora today. The company’s principals, Orian Williams and Todd Eckert, have been working closely with author Deborah Curtis, who is the widow of the Joy Division front man who committed suicide in 1980 at the age of 23, and production of the film is expected for early 2005.
Rights for the book have been among the most sought-after in the world since it was published in 1995. Curtis agreed to make the film with Claraflora after meetings in London and Manchester gave her a comfort level that the producers would be respectful to the truth of her husband’s life and legacy. The agreement was structured by Claraflora and Annie Garwood at the book’s publisher Faber and Faber in London. Curtis will also serve as co-producer on the film.
“We’re looking to give the world a truthful view of who Ian really was,” said Eckert. “Given his suicide, there’s so much concentration on the dark side of his life. We want to also concentrate on the energy that made people love Ian and Joy Division in the first place, while putting difficult elements such as his epilepsy into perspective. It will be a balanced approach—this isn’t the rock and roll Shine.”
“We’re very excited and grateful for the right to make this film,” said Williams, on location in the California desert where he is producing Tennis Anyone? with Donal Logue and Jason Isaacs. “It’s the most important music-oriented story in the world, and so relevant on a human level.”
The producers are currently in negotiations with directors and actors to drive the film. Script elements are being finalized, though the writer is expected to come from the Manchester area. There has been no selection of a music supervisor to date, though several bands have already come forward to express interest in participating in the film. The producers have also met with Rebecca Boulton, New Order’s manager, regarding the band’s potential involvement in the film.
“We’re very supportive of Debbie and trust she’ll do whatever’s best with the film,” said Boulton. “Right now we’re concentrating on recording the new album, but after that’s finished we’ll definitely be looking at it.”
Williams’ last film was Shadow of the Vampire with Willem DaFoe and John Malkovich. Eckert, a finance veteran for film, video games and music, is making his debut as producer