You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Dennis Lehane to Write Screenplay for Stefano Sollima’s ‘Colt’ (EXCLUSIVE)

U.S. author and screenwriter Dennis Lehane (“Mystic River,” “The Wire”) is attached to write the screenplay for “Colt,” the English-language Western based on a Sergio Leone concept, with Italy’s Stefano Sollima directing and Leone’s children producing.

Known in Hollywood for “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” and TV series “Gomorrah,” Sollima will be in Venice for the world premiere of his anticipated cocaine trafficking series “ZeroZeroZero,” launching from the Lido on Sept. 5.

About the previously announced “Colt” project, Sollima says that while the concept was developed by Italians, “obviously, if you want to shoot the film in English, the next step was to find a great American writer who can make the characters talk and live in a reality that is clearly different from our own.”

The director praised Lehane as “one of the great” contemporary American writers, noting his “depth and ability to drill down on characters.” 

“Having him on board is the best I could hope for,” Sollima said, adding that he’s a “huge fan” of everything Lehane has written, from the novels “Mystic River” and “Shutter Island” to his work on “The Wire,” which Sollima called a “seminal” TV show. Lehane more recently worked on skein “Mr. Mercedes.” 

“Colt” is being produced by Leone’s children, Raffaella and Andrea, through their Leone Film Group, with Italy’s RAI Cinema on board. They are shopping the project to prospective U.S. partners.

Originally conceived as a TV series, “Colt” takes its cue from the gun packed by Clint Eastwood in “A Fistful of Dollars,” which becomes a narrative device as it is passed from owner to owner throughout the Old West.

Sollima has described “Colt” as a coming-of-age story of three kids, aged 12 or 13, “who as orphans come into possession of this weapon, and for a whole host of reasons become criminals.” The film will target young audiences.

The director, whose late father, Sergio, was a Spaghetti Western pioneer who directed Lee Van Cleef-starrer “The Big Gundown,” told Variety in May that, with “Colt,” he wants to “take the [Spaghetti] Western genre back home” to Italy. Sollima and the Leones are seeking A-list U.S. talent to play several adult characters, including a lead protagonist and antagonist, besides the three young teens.

The plan is to go into pre-production next summer and start shooting in Canada in the winter of 2020.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Parasite

    Mexico’s Cinepolis Launching New Arthouse Distributor with ‘Parasite’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    MORELIA, Mexico – There’s a new arthouse player in town. Cinepolis, one of the top exhibitors in the world, is launching a new arthouse film distribution unit in Mexico called Sala de Arte Distribucion. Focusing on auteur films that have premiered at leading film festivals worldwide, Sala de Arte launches in December with “Parasite,” Bong [...]

  • US director Francis Ford Coppola holds

    Francis Ford Coppola's Slam on Marvel Films Fuels Debate Sparked by Martin Scorsese

    Disparaging remarks by Francis Ford Coppola have further inflamed the debate sparked by Martin Scorsese and his criticism of Marvel and other comic book films. At a press conference in Lyon, France, where he was being honored at the Lumiere festival, the “Godfather” director said he fully agreed with Scorsese’s assessment and went even further [...]

  • Angelina Jolie is Maleficent and Elle

    China Box Office: Hollywood Sweeps Up With ‘Maleficent’ and ‘Gemini Man’

    The first Hollywood blockbusters to hit China after the country’s big National Day holiday have, as expected, swept away holdover patriotic titles that had previously ruled the box office. “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” edged out another new release, “Gemini Man,” to lead the pack with a $22.5 million opening weekend. While Disney’s “Maleficent” arrived in [...]

  • Maleficent Mistress of Evil

    Korea Box Office: 'Maleficent 2' Debuts on Top, Deposes 'Joker'

    Given a Thursday opening, “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” debuted on top of the South Korean box office. The Walt Disney release earned $4.56 million from 612,000 admissions over four days. The fantasy adventure film accounted for 37% of total weekend box office in the country. “Joker” slipped to second after remaining on top for two [...]

  • Inside an Inox Leisure multiplex in

    India's Inox Multiplex Chain Reveals Ambitious Growth Plans

    Indian multiplex chain Inox Leisure has revealed ambitious plans to more than double its existing screen capacity of 600. The company is planning to add 900 more screens across the country over the next decade. “That’s the realistic answer, but my desire is to do it over the next five years,” Siddharth Jain, director, Inox [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content