Doug Liman to direct film on Attica uprising

Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:50pm EST

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LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Director Doug Liman and screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher are joining forces to re-create the 1971 Attica state prison uprising.

The four-day confrontation between prisoners and guards -- described as a riot by some, a rebellion by others -- inspired Al Pacino's famous chant of "Attica! Attica!" in "Dog Day Afternoon."

Liman brings a personal connection to the independently financed project, since his late father, Arthur Liman, served as chief counsel to the New York State Special Commission on Attica Prison and co-authored the commission's report chastising then-Gov. Nelson Rockefeller and prison authorities for their role in the riot, in which 32 inmates and 10 hostages were killed, 39 of them in an assault by state police officers.

In a recent blog posting, Limon described visiting the prison with Fletcher, an Oscar nominee for his "Precious" screenplay. "The tour was astounding," he wrote. "We followed the steps the prisoners took as they overwhelmed the guards; saw the radiators they ripped off the walls and the gates they smashed open with them. We left with so many stories and names and contacts of people who were there to continue our research."

Liman, director of "The Bourne Ultimatum" and "The Bourne Identity," has directed "Fair Game," starring Sean Penn and Naomi Watts as Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame, which will be released this year.

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