Kathryn Bigelow and Tom Hardy are teaming up on an adaptation of Anand Giridharadas’ non-fiction book “The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas,” which was just acquired in a competitive situation by Megan Ellison‘s Annapurna Pictures, an individual familiar with the project told TheWrap.
CAA packaged the project with Hardy firmly attached — a prospect that had studios and top production companies salivating.
Warner Bros. made an offer on behalf of Eric Roth and Scott Stuber brought it to Fox for Scott Cooper, while John Lesher also expressed interest in a Cooper-directed package. Elsewhere, Imagine took it into Universal and New Regency chased the project for Darren Aronofsky.
A spokesman for CAA, which represents both Bigelow and Hardy, did not immediately reply to a request for comment, and neither did a representative for Ellison and Annapurna.
Per Amazon, “The True American” tells the story of Rais Uddin Bhuiyan, a Bangladesh Air Force officer who dreamed of immigrating to America and working in technology. But days after 9/11, an avowed “American terrorist” named Mark Stroman, seeking revenge, walked into the Dallas minimart where Bhuiyan had found temporary work and shot him, maiming and nearly killing him.
“The True American” traces the making of these two men and their fateful encounter. It follows them as they rebuild shattered lives — one striving on Death Row to become a better man, the other to heal and pull himself up from the lowest rung on the ladder of an unfamiliar country.
Ten years after the shooting, an Islamic pilgrimage seeds in Bhuiyan a strange idea: if he is ever to be whole, he must reenter Stroman’s life. He longs to confront Stroman and speak to him face-to-face about the attack that changed their lives. Bhuiyan publicly forgives Stroman, in the name of his religion and its notion of mercy. Then he wages a legal and public-relations campaign against the State of Texas and Governor Rick Perry, to have his attacker spared from the death penalty.
Bigelow has not been linked to any new projects since she earned an Oscar nomination for producing “Zero Dark Thirty” with Ellison and Mark Boal. Bigelow also directed that critically acclaimed box office hit. She perviously won an Oscar for directing “The Hurt Locker,” which also took home an Academy Award for Best Picture.
Hardy has an extremely full plate at the moment, as he’s set to star in Doug Liman’s “Splinter Cell” and Michael Gracey’s Elton John biopic “Rocketman.” He’s also preparing to shoot Brian Helgeland’s “Legend,” in which he’ll play twin gangsters Ronald and Reggie Kray. Hardy, who can currently be seen giving a tour-de-force performance in “Locke,” next stars in Fox Searchlight’s crime drama “The Drop” and Summit’s thriller “Child 44,” as well as WB’s tentpole “Mad Max: Fury Road.”
Annapurna had a banner year in 2013 between “American Hustle,” “Her” and “Spring Breakers.” The company has “Foxcatcher” debuting in Cannes, where its new international sales arm will be shopping Nash Edgerton’s “American Express,” which will star Charlize Theron as TheWrap first reported.