After years in development on both the big and small screens, a feature adaptation of Josh Bazell’s debut novel BEAT THE REAPER is finally coming together, as Sebastian Stan has signed on to star, while Gore Verbinski has signed on to direct, the Tracking Board has exclusively learned.
The project hails from New Regency and Appian Way, so Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson will produce alongside Julie Yorn of LBI Entertainment. The script was written by Billions creators Brian Koppelman and David Levien, who are also expected to serve as executive producers.
Beat the Reaper follows a young ER doctor whose life is upended when a patient recognizes him from his past life as a mafia hitman. He’s forced to fight to stay alive as old enemies come out of the woodwork to destroy him.
New Regency originally acquired the rights to the book when it was published in January 2009, and developed the feature film project as a starring vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio. The project moved to HBO in December 2011, but not much has been heard about it since.
Stan is coming off the best performance of his career in I, Tonya, and he’ll soon be seen reprising his role as Bucky in Avengers: Infinity War and its 2019 sequel. Additionally, Stan will be seen alongside Nicole Kidman in Karyn Kusama’s crime thriller Destroyer, and he stars opposite Alexandra Daddario in We Have Always Lived in the Castle. He’s represented by ICM Partners, Brookside Artist Management and attorney Jason Sloane.
Verbinski recently fell off of Channing Tatum’s superhero movie Gambit at 20th Century Fox, and I’d say this project represents one hell of a rebound. He last directed the horror movie A Cure for Wellness starring Dane DeHaan. He’s repped by CAA and Anonymous Content.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief