After a break of nearly five years since his last film (Unfaithful), Adrian Lyne has suddenly rediscovered his interest in Hollywood: He's got two projects on his plate, though neither is likely hit screens before mid-2007 at the earliest. The first, Two Minutes to Midnight, is alleged by the IMDb to be in pre-production, but has been in the news only as a project in which Tom Cruise was briefly interested; no cast is listed, and there's been no mention of the film in the trades since the Cruise rumor -- heaven knows if it's actually being made. The second, announced in The Hollywood Reporter this morning, will be based on Prince of Thieves, an award-winning crime novel by Chuck Hogan. This one is in the very early stages; Warner Bros. will be producing, and they've just hired outrageously busy screenwriter Sheldon Turner (who, coincidentally (?), also had a hand in the Two Minutes to Midnight script) to adapt.

I actually read Hogan's novel pretty recently and, while the writing wasn't as good as I'd hoped (it having won a Hammett Award for "excellence in crime writing" and all), there's definitely a movie in there. The book revolves around four small-time criminal who pull a bank heist together, but the focus is much more on their relationships than the heist, which happens at book's open. Needless to say, the job isn't pulled off quite as cleanly as they'd hoped, and things snowball in unexpected ways. There's a lot of tension in the story, and some great characters for big-name actors to really sink their teeth into. This is a project I'll be watching, for sure.