Mark Ruffalo, Kumail Nanjiani in Talks to Star in Annapurna Drama “The True American” (Exclusive)

True American

Academy Award nominees and are in early talks to star in Pablo Larraín’s drama for Annapurna Pictures, an individual with knowledge of the project has told the Tracking Board.

A representative for Annapurna did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Kathryn Bigelow was previously set to direct the film, which once had Tom Hardy and Riz Ahmed attached to star. Bigelow is now producing alongside Annapurna’s Megan Ellison and Matthew Budman, as well as Larraín’s producing partner Juan de Dios Larraín.

The True American is based on Anand Giridharadas’ nonfiction book The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas, which was published in 2014 by W.W. Norton & Company.

Set in Texas in the days following 9/11, the book tells the true story of Rais Bhuiyan (Nanjiani), a Muslim immigrant and Bangladesh Air Force veteran who survived a deadly hate crime only to advocate for mercy on behalf of his attacker, self-styled “Arab-slayer” Mark Stroman (Ruffalo), who had been slated for execution.

Nanjiani is coming off the hit indie The Big Sick, which he co-wrote, executive produced and starred in, earning an Oscar nomination for his writing efforts along with wife Emily V. Gordon. He’s set to return as Dinesh for the new season of HBO’s Silicon Valley, and he has also wrapped Miguel Arteta’s indie comedy Duck Butter. On the producing side, he’s developing the TV series Little America and a TV remake of My Beautiful Laundrette. He’s represented by UTA, and attorney Isaac Dunham.

A three-time Oscar nominee for Spotlight, Foxcatcher and The Kids Are All Right, Ruffalo was last seen in Thor: Ragnarok, and he’ll reprise his role as Bruce Banner, aka the Hulk, in Avengers: Infinity War. He’s repped by UTA, and attorney Keith A. Klevan.

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