Minghella's Hand-Picked Replacement Kapur to Take Over Unfinished Project

Filmmaker Anthony Minghella is staying in the news a week after his death, with Defamer learning that Elizabeth director Shekhar Kapur will complete Minghella's portion of the currently filming omnibus project New York, I Love You. A rep for the project confirmed that Minghella handpicked Kapur prior to undergoing the fateful March 18 operation to treat his tonsil cancer. "He knew he was going into surgery and was unsure of whether or not he would recover fast enough to be able to direct the film," Defamer was told this afternoon. "The production team obviously all hoped Anthony would recover, but they were relieved he had chosen someone of his own to direct the piece he wrote. It worked out well for all the parties."

An official statement from producers Marina Grasic and Emmanuel Benbihy noted, "Anthony chose Shekhar Kapur to direct the segment he wrote for our film knowing that Kapur would have the deepest respect for his vision."

Meanwhile, the British television premiere of Minghella's final film, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, performed exceedingly well on its Easter Sunday bow, nabbing a 27% share — or roughly 6. 7 million viewers — between 9 and 10:45 p.m. The film is slated to launch an HBO series by first-quarter 2009.