British scriptwriter Simon Beaufoy of Slumdog Millionaire fame has confirmed that will be adapting Suketu Mehta’s Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found into a screenplay for Slumdog director Danny Boyle.
This will be the Londoner’s second project with Boyle. Beaufoy had also received acclaim for his screenplay of the 1997-hit The Full Monty.
Speaking on the telephone, he said: “Yes, it’s true. Danny Boyle has acquired the film rights to Maximum City and I have been asked to adapt the book. I have read it and it’s a wonderful book, but quite how one turns it into a film I don’t know yet.”
He said he was honoured to be working with Boyle again but has not yet started working on the script.
“It’s early days. I have got a long way to go yet. I have not even got a story yet,” he said. “I will finish some animation work and then I will hopefully work on it.”
He said the challenge was to turn it from non-fiction to fiction.
“Finding a story that weaves together all the characters that Mehta has in his book into a coherent story is the hardest part. You need something to drive the plot,” he said, adding he did not yet know if it would be a thriller.
Beaufoy said he is very excited about the project, as Maximum City is a “beautifully written examination of Mumbai from someone who is half on the inside and half on the outside”.
He said, like Slumdog, he expects the new movie to appeal to a global audience. It would be mainly in English, but like Slumdog, it would be a “mix of all sorts.”
Beaufoy will make several trips to the city, like he did for Slumdog Millionaire. “I’m looking forward to coming back to Mumbai. It’s a wonderful place,” he added.