Warner Bros. has acquired Adam Higginbotham’s non-fiction article “A Thousand Pounds of Dynamite” for Todd Phillips and Bradley Cooper to produce under their new banner.
The article chronicles the true story of the race to stop one of history’s most bizarre extortion plots, which began on Aug. 26, 1980, when a Nevada casino discovered a gigantic bomb and a ransom note sitting on its second floor.
The story was first published by Evan Ratliff’s The Atavist, an award-winning publication of original digital nonfiction that specializes in cinematic stories between magazine and book length.
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Warner Bros. executive Andy Fischel will oversee the project for the studio.
This marks the latest film deal for The Atavist, which has “Coronado High” set up at Sony with George Clooney‘s Smokehouse Pictures producing, and “American Hippopotamus,” which Brett Ratner and James Packer’s RatPac Entertainment recently optioned for Class 5 Films and Rat Pac to produce.
Phillips and Cooper’s new company is also producing WB’s “Arms & the Dudes,” which Phillips is set to direct. The “Hangover” collaborators signed three-year, first-look deal with Warners back in May.
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Cooper recently voiced the character of Rocket Raccoon in Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” and next stars in Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” and Cameron Crowe’s romantic comedy set in Hawaii. He has Susanne Bier’s drama “Serena” with Jennifer Lawrence on the horizon, and the two-time Oscar nominee is currently filming John Wells’ untitled chef movie.
Higginbotham is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared in Wired, GQ, Men’s Journal and the New Yorker. He’s represented by Circle of Confusion.
CAA represents Phillips, Cooper and The Atavist. Phillips is also represented by attorney Warren Dern. The Atavist is also represented by Circle of Confusion and attorney Darren Trattner.
For more information about the actual explosive device referenced in this story, watch the video below, courtesy of The Atavist. A longer excerpt from the article is available on Slate, where the video originally appeared.