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Sony Pictures is furthering its partnership with Joe Russo and Anthony Russo, who became one of the industry’s hottest duos following their hit directorial effort Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The studio has picked up the pair’s long gestating action/thriller CIUDAD, with offers out to Matthew McConaughey to star.
The project, scripted by the Russo’s, was already set up at Sierra/Affinity Pictures and Closed On Mondays Entertainment, but will now be housed at the studio under the duo’s first-look deal. Matthew Milam is overseeing for Sony, while Kelly McCormick oversees for Sierra/Affinity.
Ciudad centers on mercenary/kidnapping extractor Tyler Rake, who’s hired by a Brazilian drug lord to retrieve the man’s daughter from Ciudad del Este, which rests on the border of Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina. After his contact double crosses him, the weary Rake must fight his way out of the most infamous hub of international crime in the world.
Ciudad is based on the graphic novel also written by the Russo’s, along with Ande Parks and Fernando Leon. Eric Gitter and Peter Schwerin are still producing for Closed on Mondays, while the Russo’s executive produce along with Joe Nozemack, David Guillod, Nicolas Meyer, and Marc Schaberg. James Lucas Jones and Steve Scavelli will serve in a co-producing capacity.
John Pogue was most recently attached to direct, like the Russo’s before him, though sources report that he’s now fallen off. The studio has only just acquired the property, though sources confirm that the search for a new director is already underway.
The news of the project’s move comes hot off of The Tracking Board’s report that Charlize Theron would star in The Gray Man, another Russo-scripted thriller set up at Sony. The Russo’s signed their three-year first-look deal last March to develop features for the studio. The brothers’ next Sony project will be an all male-focused Ghostbusters spinoff, to be released alongside of Paul Feig’s new female-driven series. That one will be their next, as the duo just wrapped on their Winter Soldier sequel, Captain America: Civil War.
Dwayne Johnson was at one point circling the role of Rake, though sources now report that McConaughey is the top choice. The Oscar winner has experienced a surge of high-profile, critically acclaimed parts following his incredible turn on True Detective and in Dallas Buyers Club. McConaughey just wrapped on the drama Gold, which co-stars Bryce Dallas Howard and Édgar Ramírez. He’s next attached to star in The Billionaire’s Vinegar, which is also set up at Sony.
McConaughey is repped by CAA.
Clark Allen | Associate Editor