When Screen Australia funded the development of the thriller Jungle in 2011, the Spierig brothers were attached to direct and co-write the screenplay with Justin Monjo.

Chris Brown’s Pictures in Paradise, Emile Sherman and Iain Canning’s See-Saw Films and US-based producer Dana Lustig were the producers and Transmission was listed as the distributor .

The project never came together for that creative team and now Greg Mclean has come aboard as the director, with Lustig and Arclight’s Gary Hamilton and Mike Gabrawy producing.

Monjo is still the screenwriter, based on Yossi Ghinsberg’s memoir Lost in the Jungle, the true story of his harrowing experiences with two fellow backpackers in the Bolivian jungle.

“We were introduced to the project by the Spierig brothers who wrote one of the earlier drafts,” Hamilton tells IF from Cannes. “We fell in love with the project  and decided to continue to explore with Dana Lustig, one of the producers on the project. We attached Greg and have been actively developing and packaging the project together."

Shooting is due to begin before the end of the year in La Paz, Bolivia and in the rainforests of the Gold Coast.

“I am thrilled to be making a film about this astonishing true tale of survival and personal transformation,” said Mclean, who is in the US directing Kevin Bacon and Radha Mitchell in the low-budget thriller 6 Miranda Drive.

“The raw and honest narration of both book and script reads like a classic thriller that has deep spiritual resonance alongside the challenging and horrific events that unfold.”

Arclight Films is handling worldwide sales and is pitching the project to buyers in Cannes. CAA is packaging the film and represents the US rights. Screen Queensland also supported development of the project.

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