Open Road Films has closed a deal to acquire domestic distribution rights to John Hillcoat’s crime thriller “Triple Nine,” which will be financed by Worldview Entertainment now that Megan Ellison’s Panorama Media has exited the project, TheWrap has learned.
As TheWrap first reported, the film will star Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael B. Jordan, while Kate Winslet, Aaron Paul, Michael Pena, Teresa Palmer and new Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot are in talks to join the trio.
Story follows a group of thieves who plan to kill a young LAPD officer to divert the police away from a daring heist they’re perpetrating across town. The title “Triple Nine” refers to police code indicating that an officer needs immediate assistance.
Affleck will play the targeted officer, while Ejiofor will play a career criminal who masterminds the heist. Jordan is nearing a deal to play a street-wise cop in Ejiofor’s gang who partners with Affleck and plans to set him up. Winslet will play a gangster’s wife who may be pulling the strings behind the scenes.
“Triple Nine” has a long, complicated history when it comes to casting. It was initially planned as a Shia LaBeouf vehicle before Charlie Hunnam took over the lead role. Christoph Waltz and Cate Blanchett were also circling the film, though scheduling issues will prevent them from being involved in the current incarnation of the project.
One reason so many high-caliber actors have expressed interest in the project may be Hillcoat’s reputation for coaxing strong performances out of his actors, though Matt Cook’s Black List-approved script likely also played a significant part in generating heat.
Anonymous Content’s Keith Redmon, Brad Dorros and Steve Golin are producing the movie, while Paul Green will executive produce. Sierra/Affinity will also be involved in a producing capacity, as the company is handling international sales for the project in Berlin.
Megan Ellison had planned to finance the project through her Panorama Media, though the company is no longer involved, as Marc Butan recently left Panorama for Sierra/Affinity. “Triple Nine” is the second high-profile project Ellison has pulled out of financing following Paramount’s “Terminator: Genesis.”
Open Road plans to release “Triple Nine” in 2015.
Run by Christopher Woodrow and Molly Conners, Worldview recently produced Zach Braff’s “Wish I Was Here” and the Anne Hathaway movie “Song One,” both of which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
Variety broke the news of Winslet’s casting.