Marc Butan of MadRiver Pictures, producer of the upcoming has found his next project with the S. Craig Zahler-penned BREAKING THE EMPIRE STATE. The action-packed story follows a special agent who has found himself in a situation where he has to infiltrate the Empire State Building on his own when he finds out that it has been overrun by terrorists who have taken over two thousand people hostage.
Zahler was featured on The Hit List in 2012 for his script, Bone Tomahawk which was released in 2015 to critical acclaim. The film marks Zahler’s directorial debut and blurs the lines between horror and western with a story about a sheriff and a motley crew of bandits who are sent to rescue settlers from a small town that have been kidnapped by group of cannibal savages. The screenplay recently earned Zahler an Independent Spirit Award nomination. The cast included some notable names including Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, as well as Richard Jenkins who was also nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Like Bone Tomahawk, Breaking the Empire has “search and rescue” elements, but in a different setting. Based on the premise, the script seems to take a cue from the cult favorite, The Raid which has one man against an entire building of men trying to kill him. The terrorist/hostage situation also echoes that of the Bruce Willis classic, Die Hard. Based on Zahler’s work, it will be interesting to see what he does to put his own stamp on this kind of movie.
In addition to Bone Tomahawk, Zahler wrote the indie Asylum Blackout in 2011. He is currently adapting his novel, Mean Business On North Ganson Street into a movie which will be produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran. He is also working on scripts for The Big Stone Grid–featured on the 2011 Hit List–and The Brigands of Rattleborge, which will be directed by Park Chan-wook.
In addition to Triple 9, Butan and Edward Fee of MadRiver are slated to release Pride Prejudice and Zombies and The Lost City of Z starring Sienna Miller and Charlie Hunnam this year. They are also developing a project about Mark Felt and the Watergate scandal titled Felt, as well as Harmony Korine’s The Trap.
Dino-Ray Ramos | Staff Writer