'Rattleborge' screenwriter to helm horror Western

Screenwriter S. Craig Zahler (“The Brigands of Rattleborge”) is set to make his feature directorial debut with Caliber Media Co.’s horror Western “Bone Tomahawk,” which will star Kurt Russell, Peter Sarsgaard, Richard Jenkins and Jennifer Carpenter.

Celluloid Dreams will handle international sales and shop the package to foreign buyers at the American Film Market. Company has already closed one major sale, as French distributor Wild Side (“Drive”) has made a preemptive purchase for the rights in France for mid-six figures. CAA and UTA are co-repping the package and North American rights.

Dallas Sonnier and Jack Heller are producing via their Caliber Media banner. Duo are eyeing a spring start in New Mexico.

The brutally violent, character-driven “Bone Tomahawk” follows a sheriff (Russell), a gunslinger, a befuddled oldster (Jenkins) and a cowboy (Sarsgaard) as they attempt to rescue a group of captives (including Carpenter) from a band of cannibalistic troglodytes.

Zahler wrote the original script, having previously sold the specs “The Big Stone Grid” to Sony, with Michael Mann attached to direct, and “Conflicts of the Last Progenitors” to Andrew Adamson. His Western script “The Brigands of Rattleborge” topped the 2006 Black List and is currently being developed by Red Granite Pictures and director Park Chan-wook (“Oldboy”).

Caliber Media is currently in post on several films including Kevin Durand starrer “Dark Was the Night” and “Milo,” a horror comedy co-produced by the Duplass Brothers that is part of the company’s slate with New Artists Alliance.

CAA reps Russell and Sarsgaard, who are respectively managed by Rick Nicita and by Jon Rubinstein at Authentic. Jenkins is repped by Gersh and manager Bill Treusch, while Carpenter is repped by WME, Untitled and attorney Karl Austen. Zahler is repped by UTA and Caliber Media.

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