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Niki Caro to Direct ‘Beautiful Ruins’ for Amblin Partners

Sam Mendes is producing

“Mulan” director Niki Caro has closed a deal to direct “Beautiful Ruins” for Amblin Partners, according to an individual with knowledge of the project.

In February, Amblin announced that they were re-teaming with Neal Street Productions to make the film, following their collaboration on “1917,” which won three Academy Awards and has so far earned $375 million at the worldwide box office. Neal Street’s Pippa Harris, Sam Mendes and Julie Pastor will produce “Beautiful Ruins.” Nicolas Brown is executive producing.

Based on the New York Times bestseller written by Jess Walter, the story centers on a charming young man in an Italian seaside village in 1962, who runs a hotel with no guests, until one day an American starlet, fresh from the set of “Cleopatra,” appears and captures his heart. Five decades later in Hollywood, a jaded assistant to a once-powerhouse producer gets caught up in the magic of the Italian’s story, and takes it upon herself to find a happy ending. The script will be written by Mark Hammer and Chiara Atik, from an earlier draft by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster.

Amblin Partners’ President of Production, Jeb Brody, will oversee for the studio, along with Mia Maniscalco, VP of Creative Affairs.

Caro’s next movie is Disney’s live-action adaptation of “Mulan,” now opening August 21 as COVID-19 infections continue to rise in cities across the U.S. Her other credits include her breakout hit “Whale Rider” along with “North Country.” Both films garnered Oscar nominations for their lead actresses. On the television front, Caro won a DGA award for Netflix’s “Anne with an E.”

Caro is repped by UTA and Linda Lichter of Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler, Feldman and Clark.

Variety first reported the news.