"Messenger" director eyes Kurt Cobain movie

Kurt Cobain, late frontman of grunge group Nirvana, standing in an undated photo. REUTERS/File

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The rookie director of the Oscar-nominated drama “The Messenger” is in negotiations to rework the screenplay for Universal Pictures’ untitled Kurt Cobain project.

Oren Moverman is also set to direct the film about the late frontman of grunge group Nirvana. Screenwriter David Benioff (“Brothers”) first took on the project in 2007.

Material on Cobain’s life, music and 1994 suicide will come at least partially from Charles R. Cross’ 2001 biography, “Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain.” Universal originally purchased the life rights of both Cobain and his widow, Courtney Love, who had already optioned the film rights to the Cross book.

In 2005, writer-director Gus Van Sant made the fictional rock-and-roll drama “Last Days,” which echoed Cobain’s drug-addicted final trajectory. Benioff did first-hand research with Cobain’s old friends in Aberdeen and Seattle to inform the drafts of his Universal script.

Moverman and his “Messenger” co-writer Alessandro Camon scored Oscar nominations for their original screenplay. Woody Harrelson also earned a nomination for his supporting role as a soldier who delivers the news of comrades’ deaths to their families.

Moverman has also co-written the scripts for “Married Life,” “Jesus’ Son” and “I’m Not There.”