Ridley Scott to Exec Produce Prison Thriller ‘Panopticon’ Based on Black List Script

Andrés Baiz will direct from Emily Jerome’s screenplay

Ridley Scott will executive produce a thriller called “Panopticon” that is based on a script that landed on the Black List in 2017, and AGC Studios will finance and co-produce the film, the studio’s chairman and CEO Stuart Ford announced Thursday.

Andrés Baiz (“Narcos”) will direct “Panopticon” from the Black List script by Emily Jerome, and production is slated to begin this fall, with casting already underway.

The word “panopticon” refers to a prison designed in a round such that all the prisoners can be watched at once by a single guard, and because they can’t see when they’re being watched, they’re motivated to use good behavior.

The film “Panopticon” though follows rising hedge fund manager Chase, who hears about a little known financial gold mine called PCC Correctional, an Arizona based private prison system that racks up huge profits. It soon becomes clear that it’s a bad bet in every way except return on investment. On a tour of the prison, she realizes that the inmates are running the show. Chase starts a dangerous game as she tries to fix things in order to save the jackpot she’s reaping for herself and her firm.

Tom Moran and Vera Meyer will shepherd the project with Kevin Walsh producing for Scott Free alongside Jerome and AGC Studios’ Ford and head of production Linda McDonough. Ridley Scott will serve as executive producer.

“Emily Jerome has written a powerful, taut thriller wrapped up in the all too prescient real world arena of the US incarceration system. We’re excited to be putting the project together with her and our friends at Scott Free,” Ford said in a statement.

Sales arm AGC International is handling international sales and CAA Media Finance, which arranged for the film’s financing, will represent the domestic sale. The two companies co-represent the Chinese distribution rights.

The deal was negotiated by AGC’s VP of Legal & Business Affairs Anant Tamirisa on behalf of AGC and by CAA on behalf of Baiz and Jerome and Scott.  Baiz is also represented by Management 360, and Jerome by Jamie Feldman of Lichter Grossman.

AGC recently wrapped production on Neil Burger’s sci-fi “Voyagers” for Lionsgate, Tate Taylor’s “Breaking News In Yuba County” and the revenge thriller “The Secrets We Keep” starring Noomi Rapace. AGC is also the international distribution partner on Roland Emmerich’s “Moonfall.”

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