After directing two episodes of the second series of British crime drama Broadchurch, Jonathan Teplitzky is juggling a sizable slate of film and TV projects.
The Railway Man director aims to re-team with producer Chris Brown on Mr Crankypants, a black comedy in the vein of their 2003 hit Gettin’ Square.
With US-born, UK-based writer Brock Norman Brock he’s developing Don Don, a feature about the encounter between a New York millionaire and a Thai Buddhist monk, both named Don.
He’s attached to direct Choir of Hard Knocks, a drama about a group of desperate people who find dignity and purpose under the baton of their choirmaster, which Pip Karmel is scripting for producer Marian Macgowan.
Moreover, he’s in talks to direct an episode of Essential Media & Entertainment’s 6-part Jack Irish series for the ABC and he’s keen to work in the new series of Essential’s Rake.
Teplitzky will remain in the UK until at least May because his partner Jessica Hobbs is directing BBC six-part drama River, which stars Stellan Skarsgård as a police detective whose fractured mind is the key to his crime-solving genius. Hobbs also helmed two eps of Broadchurch, which stars David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Matthew Gravelle and Jodie Whittaker.
Broadchurch creator/writer Chris Chibnall told his directors, “Do your own thing but be faithful to the essence of the show.” Teplitzky had 23 days to shoot two eps, a luxury compared to the typical 15-day block for Australian TV drama. He tells IF he was attracted to the storyline which deals with the “fall-out from tragic events and how the community responds.”
Scripted by Chris Nyst, Mr Crankypants will follow a professional boxer with anger management issues who wins eight out of 10 fights; he settles the other two in the car park. The plot follows the character as he deals with his six-year-old daughter from whom he is estranged. The director says the project is progressing well and he hopes it will soon be financed and cast.
He describes Don Don as funny and irreverent, rather different in tone to Brock’s screenplay of Nicolas Winding Refn’s Bronson, which starred Tom Hardy as notorious English crim Charles Bronson.