The hot new spec AMERICAN REBEL, about one of the United States’ first female heroes, has landed in the hands of Amy Pascal and her banner Pascal Pictures. From writer Christopher Cosmos, the deal was reportedly negotiated in the high six-figure range. Adam Kolbrenner of Madhouse Entertainment is also set to produce.
It tells the true-life story of Deborah Sampson, a young woman who disguised herself as a man to serve in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. Under the name Robert Shurtleff of Uxbridge, Massachusetts, she performed military duty for 17 months and was wounded in 1782. She attended to some of her wounds herself to avoid her secret being revealed.
In spring of 1783, she was promoted and in that same summer, her gender was discovered by a doctor but he didn’t let slip her secret until the war was over. While other women who were discovered were reprimanded, Sampson received an honorable discharge at West Point on October 25, 1783.
The story is an easy home-run — it’s female-led, based on a true story, a period piece, and triumphant. It’s being said that many A-list directors and lead actors are already circling the project.
Most recently, Madhouse produced the critically acclaimed Prisoners in 2013 from director Dennis Villeneuve and they have several more projects in development.
Pascal has Spider-Man: Homecoming and Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut, Molly’s Game, coming up next. The company is also producing the new Little Women remake, as well as Cleopatra at Columbia.
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor
This news was first reported by Deadline.