Mendes Plans “Crossing,” “Middlemarch”

Focus Features has signed a two-year first-look deal with Sam Mendes and his Neal Street Productions reports Variety.

The deal includes two potential directing vehicles for Mendes – an adaption of John Williams’ 1960-penned revisionist western “Butcher’s Crossing” and the British period piece “Middlemarch”.

Set in 1870s America, ‘Crossing’ focuses on a man who forsakes his Harvard education to move to the small Kansas town of Butcher’s Crossing. There, he joins the hunt for one of the last great buffalo herds.

“Middlemarch”, based on the George Eliot novel and adapted by Andrew Davies, deals with the changing fortunes in a provincial English community in the early 1830s.

Mendes, Pippa Harris and Caro Newling are producing both.