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Friday, 29 September, 2000, 11:11 GMT 12:11 UK
Batman director takes on Guerin film
Veronica Guerin and family
Investigative journalist Veronica Guerin was shot six times
Joel Schumacher, the director of two Batman films, is to direct the forthcoming film about the life of murdered journalist Veronica Guerin.

The film, Chasing the Dragon: The Veronica Guerin Story, is being produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, best known for action movies such as Top Gun and Con Air.

Director Joel Schumacher
Joel Schumacher has directed more than 16 feature films
Ms Guerin, an investigative reporter for the Irish Sunday Independent, was shot six times at point blank range in 1996 as she waited at traffic lights in her car in Dublin. She was killed by a gunman riding pillion on a motorbike.

She had written a series of articles about drug dealers and organised crime in Ireland.

Two men were later jailed for her murder.

A film loosely based on her life, When the Sky Falls, was released earlier this year.

Veronica Guerin was a totally unique human being

Joel Schumacher

"Veronica Guerin was a totally unique human being, a complex character who took on the Dublin drug lords and paid the price of her own life," Schumacher told The Hollywood Reporter.

"This is a great story and a great role for an actress in her mid-30s. I said 'yes' the minute I read this script."

The screenplay was written by Irish writer Carol Doyle, with a re-write by Mary Donahue.

Val Kilmer as Batman
Batman Forever was panned by the critics

The film has been in development for three years by Bruckheimer, who, with the late Don Simpson, carved out a reputation for producing "high-concept" blockbusters.

Schumacher added: "She was young and sexy and the mother of a small boy.

"They murdered her in cold blood in the middle of the afternoon."

Joel Schumacher has a mixed reputation as a director. His best work includes the Michael Douglas movie, Falling Down, about one man's alienation from the system, while his worst films include the critically-dismissed Batman Forever and Batman and Robin.

The film is not expected to go into production until 2001 at the earliest.

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