The movie is based on the award-winning novel by Greg Neri. The screenplay was written by Staub and Dan Walser. Elba will produce under his Green Door Pictures banner. Jeff Waxman, Jen Madeloff, Sam Mercer, Tegan Jones, and Walser are also producing.
“This story was built out of a deep friendship and collaboration with the riders of North Philly, and I couldn’t be more excited to honor their legacy with this film,” Staub said.
The pic follows 15-year-old Cole, who’s forced to live with his estranged father Harp (Elba) in North Philadelphia, where, despite the surrounding poverty and violence, he discovers the redemptive world of urban horseback riding.
“Ricky and Dan’s brilliant script combines the energy and grit of an urban movie with the poetry and romance of the urban cowboy way of life,” Elba said.
Elba’s recent credits include “The Dark Tower,” “Molly’s Game,” “Thor: Ragnarok,” and “The Mountain Between Us.” He most recently directed the Sundance pic “Yardie.” Elba is currently in production on the Netflix comedy series “Turn Up Charlie,” which he created, and will topline and executive produce.
He also just joined the “Fast and Furious” spinoff, “Hobbs and Shaw,” as the villain.
Elba is represented by WME, the Artists Partnership, and attorney Pam Black. Staub and Walser are represented by WME.