It took a little while, but the Tracking Board has confirmed that Amy Adams is in talks to star in Pablo Larraín’s drama THE TRUE AMERICAN and that Amazon is nearing a deal to take over distribution rights from Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures. Amazon will now finance the film, leaving Annapurna to simply distribute.
Mark Ruffalo is firmly attached to star as self-proclaimed ‘Arab slayer’ Mark Stroman, while Kumail Nanjiani remains in talks to play Rais Bhuiyan, the Muslim immigrant and Bangladesh Air Force veteran who survived a harrowing attack by Stroman and set out to spare the man from execution.
The True American is based on Anand Giridharadas’ nonfiction book The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas, which was published in 2014. Kathryn Bigelow was once attached to direct the film, but she’s now simply producing alongside Annapurna’s Megan Ellison and Matthew Budman, as well as Larraín’s producing partner Juan de Dios Larraín.
I’m told that while Ellison and her team at Annapurna have loved this project since they first became involved with it several years ago, the company was wary about financing the film, given the hit the company took on Bigelow’s underperforming drama Detroit. The producers worked to find it a new home that would limit Annapurna’s liability but keep them involved in the prestige picture, which strikes me as awards-friendly — especially with Ruffalo and Adams aboard, considering they have eight Oscar nominations between them.
Nanjiani has been looking to show what he can do as a dramatic actor, but his deal is understood to be the furthest away right now, which makes sense considering he’s in such high demand following his Oscar nomination for co-writing The Big Sick.
Should the stars align, The True American would start production this spring. Annapurna declined comment, while Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Adams is trying to work out her schedule so that she can star in The True American without neglecting her publicity duties for HBO’s upcoming limited series Sharp Objects. Adams also produced the project, so she wants to do right by it in terms of press. The Justice League actress next stars opposite Christian Bale once again in Adam McKay’s untitled Dick Cheney movie. She’s represented by WME and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
Variety broke the news about Adams’ casting, while Deadline chimed in with the Amazon element.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief