Thesp to topline oater set in lawless Arizona

Jeremy Sumpter will topline indie Western “The Unbroken,” set in the lawless Arizona territory in 1863, with Kim Bass directing from his own script.

Shooting has been set for April by Bass Entertainment Pictures around Santa Fe, N.M. Pic will be produced by Beautiful Lie Pictures’ Deanna Shapiro, whose credits include “The Legend of Cryin’ Ryan” and “Junkyard Dog.”

Story centers on a young loner who risks everything to rescue his mail order bride — whom he’s never met — from a gang of ruthless outlaws led by his father, a cold-blooded killer.

Bass said Sumpter, an avid western horseback rider, quickly became the production team’s first choice after his audition. Sumpter’s credits include P.J. Hogan’s version of “Peter Pan,” “Soul Surfer,” a recurring role on the series “Friday Night Lights” and roles in two pics in post-production — Steve Quale’s untitled tornado thriller and “the Culling.”

Bass was a writer on “In Living Color” and was involved in creating “Kenan & Kel” and “Sister, Sister.” Feature directing credits include “Junkyard Dog” and “Kill Speed.” He formed Bass Entertainment in 2007.

Bass told Variety that he’s carried a lifelong passion for Westerns dating back to his childhood in upstate New York, where his father worked as a cowboy. “We watched all the Western series together — ‘Gunsmoke,’ ‘Bonanza,’ ‘The Rifleman’ — so this project is something I’ve wanted to do for many years.

Sumpter is represented by Innovative, manager Mark Robert and attorney Derek Kroeger.

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