×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Michael Roskam in talks to helm ‘Animal Rescue’

Tom Hardy eyed to star in adaptation of Dennis Lehane novel

With Neil Burger exiting to direct “Divergent,” Fox Searchlight and Chernin Entertainment are now in negotiations with “Bullhead” helmer Michael R. Roskam to direct the movie “Animal Rescue,” based on the short story by Dennis Lehane, who also wrote the script.

Execs have targeted top talent for the lead role, with noted animal lover Tom Hardy currently being eyed to star. “Animal Rescue” is one of several offers Hardy is weighing, and while it may not be as flashy as the other projects vying for the “Dark Knight Rises” star, the chance to recite Lehane’s rich dialogue and work with up-and-coming director Roskam is likely an enticing prospect.

Fox Searchlight and Chernin Entertainment had no comment.

Crime drama follows a lonely Boston bartender who rescues a puppy from a garbage can and becomes the target of the dog’s abusive and mentally unstable former owner, while simultaneously getting caught in the middle of a criminal conspiracy playing out in his mob-controlled bar.

Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark and Jenno Topping are producing with Mike Larocca. Production is tentatively skedded to start early next year.

Roskam’s Belgian crime drama “Bullhead” was nominated for the foreign language Oscar last year and helped launch star Matthias Schoenaerts’ budding Hollywood career. He was inundated by offers following the Oscars but of all the scripts sent to him, Lehane’s “Animal Rescue” was the one he was most excited about. Roskam is also developing “The Tiger” with Focus Features and Brad Pitt’s Plan B shingle. He’s attached to direct from a script by Guillermo Arriaga (“Babel”), who adapted the book by John Vaillant. Additionally, Roskam is writing and attached to direct HBO pilot “Buda Bridge.”

Lehane is the Boston-based author best known for writing the novels “Mystic River,” “Gone Baby Gone” and “Shutter Island.” Lehane’s latest novel, “Live By Night,” is in development at Warner Bros., with Ben Affleck attached to write, direct, produce and topline.

Chernin Entertainment recently wrapped Paul Feig’s cop comedy “The Heat” starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, and is currently prepping “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” with director Matt Reeves.

Roskam is repped by UTA, Anonymous Content and attorney attorney Alan Wertheimer.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Samara Weaving

    'G.I. Joe' Spinoff 'Snake Eyes' Adds 'Ready or Not's' Samara Weaving

    Samara Weaving will join Henry Golding in the “G.I. Joe” spinoff, “Snake Eyes.” Haruka Abe, Ursula Corbero, Iko Uwais and Andrew Koji have also boarded the Paramount, Skydance and AllSpark movie. “The Captain” director Robert Schwentke is helming and Brian Goldner is producing. Evan Spiliotopoulos, who wrote “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Huntsman: Winter’s [...]

  • The Irishman

    'The Irishman' to Screen at Hollywood's Egyptian Theatre

    Netflix’s “The Irishman,” directed by Martin Scorsese, will screen at American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood  for two weeks starting Nov. 1. The screenings, announced Monday, are part of the limited theatrical run for the 209-minute crime drama, which premiered at the New York Film Festival on Sept. 27. Netflix will begin streaming “The Irishman” on [...]

  • Critics' Choice Documentary Awards Nominations 2019

    'Biggest Little Farm' Nabs Seven Critics' Choice Documentary Awards Nominations

    “The Biggest Little Farm” leads nominees for the fourth annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards, with seven bids, followed by “Apollo 11” and “They Shall Not Grow Old.” “One Child Nation” received five nominations. The winners will be presented their awards at a gala, hosted by Property Brothers’ Jonathan Scott, on Nov. 10 at BRIC in [...]

  • Margot Robbie, Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron.

    Charlize Theron Could Win Second Oscar for Playing Megyn Kelly in 'Bombshell'

    Charlize Theron walked on stage before a screening of “Bombshell” at West Hollywood’s Pacific Design Center on Sunday night and announced to the crowd, “I’m about to s— myself.” The Oscar winner had good reason to be nervous. The screening of the Jay Roach-directed drama about the fall of Fox News boss Roger Ailes was [...]

  • Abominable Animated Movie

    Vietnam Pulls DreamWorks' 'Abominable' Over Contested Territorial Claims

    Vietnam has banned DreamWorks Animation’s new co-produced feature “Abominable” from its cinemas due to a scene involving a map that depicts China’s contested territorial claims in the South China Sea. The move comes as U.S. entertainment firms such as the NBA, Disney and gaming firm Activision Blizzard are under intense fire from U.S. fans, activists [...]

  • The Captain

    China Box Office: 'The Captain' Flies to $340 Million After Two Weeks of Release

    Patriotic thriller “The Captain” held on to the top spot at the Chinese box office for the second weekend, again leading from propaganda omnibus “My People, My Country.” “The Captain,” also known as “The Chinese Pilot” earned $34.9 million according to consultancy Artisan Gateway, for a two-week cumulative of $343 million. The cumulative for “People,” [...]

  • CGV movie theatre Seoul South KoreaCGV

    Korean Law to Limit Film Releasing Monopolies

    The Korean government is to make it illegal to show a single film on more than 50% of screens nationwide. The move is intended to prevent “screen monopolies by blockbuster films” and to “address unfair competition practices in the film industry.” The Ministry of Culture announced on Monday that it will revise the existing Promotion [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content