Sheen will portray the serial killer Gary Ridgway, who pleaded guilty in 2003 to 48 charges of first-degree murder of women in the state of Washington during the 1980s and 1990s. He was spared the death penalty in exchange for cooperation in locating the victims.
Sheen will direct from his own screenplay, which was named to the Black List in 2015 and is adapted from the Dark Horse Entertainment’s graphic novel “Green River Killer: A True Detective Story.” The book, which won the Eisner Award, was written by Jeff Jensen and based on his father, Tom Jensen, and artist Jonathan Case.
The film tells the story of the relationship between Tom Jensen, who spent two decades looking for the Green River Killer, and Ridgway. The two men were forced to live and work together in a dark alliance to uncover the truth.
“This is a dark story but one that ultimately finds hope and meaning in that darkness,” Sheen said. “The story of Tom and Gary, and how they are bound together in time, pulled me in from the beginning and wouldn’t let go. I hope that by now bringing it to life on screen, it can make audiences feel the same way.”
QC Entertainment is producing and financing. Producers are Dark Horse Entertainment’s Mike Richardson and Keith Goldberg, Sheen, and QC Entertainment’s Sean McKittrick and Ray Mansfield. QC’s Edward H. Hamm Jr. and Shaun Redick will serve as executive producers.
The film will be co-represented for domestic film sales by ICM Partners and QC Entertainment, which is the recently formed partnership between McKittrick, Hamm, Mansfield and Redick.
“Michael has written an elegant script which brings his sophisticated vision to subverting the typical serial killer movie,” McKittrick and Mansfield said. “Jensen and Ridgway are terrific roles for both an actor of Michael’s caliber and the actor cast opposite him. As producers who have long championed actors making the move to directing, we couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it.”
“‘Green River Killer’ presents the ultimate insider’s account of America’s most prolific serial killer,” Richardson said. “Michael Sheen’s passion for the material was clear when he insisted on adapting the book on spec. His screenplay proves that Jeff Jensen’s Eisner Award-winning graphic novel is perfectly suited for the screen.”
Sheen’s credits include “The Queen,” “Far From the Madding Crowd,” “Midnight in Paris,” and the “Underworld” and “Twilight” franchises. He currently stars on and produces Showtime’s “Masters of Sex.” His upcoming films include “Oppenheimer Strategies,” opposite Richard Gere, and “Passengers,” starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt.
Sheen is repped by ICM Partners, Tammy Rosen of Sanders Armstrong Caserta Management, and attorneys James Adams and Ira Schreck of Schreck Rose Dapello & Adams LLP. The deal for Sheen was negotiated by ICM Partners and Schreck Rose Dapello & Adams LLP.
The deal for Dark Horse Entertainment was negotiated by attorney Keith G. Fleer. Ray Mansfield negotiated the deals on behalf of QC Entertainment.