Hostage Drama 'Bel Canto' To Star Julianne Moore, Ken Watanabe, And Demian Bichir

Paul Weitz has come a long way from when he co-directed American Pie with his brother, Chris. While Little Fokkers and Cirque du Freak still blot his resume, recent efforts such as Admission, Being Flynn, and Grandma show a tremendous amount of growth as a filmmaker. And he's going to put that talent to further use in an adaptation of Ann Patchett's acclaimed novel and stageplay, Bel Canto.

Weitz will have a great cast to work from as Julianne Moore, Demian Bichir, and Ken Watanabe are the first to sign on. Adapted by Weitz and Anthony Weintraub, the story centers on a famous American soprano (Moore) who attends a private party in South America for a wealthy Japanese businessman (Watanabe). When a terrorist organization led by General Benjamin (Bichir) overrun the event take prisoners, the evening turns into a month-long ordeal in which unexpected relationships form between the captors and hostages.

While a work of fiction the story is loosely based on the 1996 Japanese embassy hostage crisis in Peru. So there's some promising, weighty material to work with, and hopefully Weitz can make the most out of it and his cast.