Andrew “Rapman” Onwubolu is on board to direct the movie from a screenplay by Dennis Lehane. Neal H. Moritz and Toby Jaffe are producing through Original Film.
Rapman landed the job after his film “Blue Story,” which caught the eye of Paramount execs during the directing search.
“American Son” centers around a man, who, after falling under the control of a ruthless mobster (played by Crowe) while in prison, builds a multiracial crime syndicate, takes down his mentor, and earns a place for his crew alongside the Italian and Russian mafias.
Paramount will now look to find the film’s protagonist with sources tell Variety the studio going the discovery route with casting to begin shortly.
The original pic, directed by Jacques Audiard, follows an Arab man (played by Tahar Rahim), who’s sent to a French prison, where he becomes a mafia kingpin. “A Prophet” won the grand prix at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. It was also nominated for best foreign-language film at the 2010 Oscars.
Originally set up at Sony Pictures, where it was retitled “American Son,” the film is now a major priority for Paramount.
Crowe’s next film, “Unhinged,” will mark the first movie to return to theaters since the pandemic. It debuts on July 1 with Solstice Studios distributing.
Crowe recently appeared in “True History of the Kelly Gang” and portrayed Roger Ailes in the Showtime limited series “The Loudest Voice.” He’s repped by WME.