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Russo Brothers Close Deal to Direct PTSD Drama ‘Cherry’

Joe Russo Anthony Russo
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UPDATED – Joe and Anthony Russo have closed a deal for movie rights to Nico Walker’s novel “Cherry,” the story of an Army medic turned bank robber and addict with post-traumatic stress disorder, and will direct and produce.

Walker was arrested in 2011 and wrote “Cherry” while incarcerated. The book was acquired by Knopf and has debuted at No. 14 on The New York Times bestseller list.

The Russo brothers directed Disney-Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War” and are in post-production on the untitled sequel, due out next May. They also directed “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (2014) and “Captain America: Civil War” (2016). The Russos will produce “Cherry” through their AGBO production company.

“Cherry” tells the story of a young man from an affluent family who marries his hometown girlfriend before joining the Army and shipping out to Iraq as an Army medic. When he returns home, he becomes a drug addict and gets into debt, leading to him robbing more than 10 banks before getting caught in 2011. He was sentenced to 11 years and is currently in a Kentucky federal prison.

An excerpt published Aug. 14 on the Esquire site includes this passage from Walker’s book about the protagonist shooting heroin: “The taste comes on first; then the rush starts. And it’s all about right, the warmth bleeding down through me. Till the taste comes on stronger than usual, so strong it’s sickening. And I figure it out: how I was always dead, my ears ringing.”

The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.