Nicolas Cage is lined up to play a buffalo hunter in an adaptation of John Williams’ novel “Butcher’s Crossing,” directed by “Red Army” helmer Gabe Polsky.
The film, which is being shopped to buyers at this week’s Cannes virtual market by sales agent and financier Altitude, is set in the 1870s and finds the “Mandy” star playing Kansas buffalo hunter Miller, who takes on a young Harvard dropout seeking his destiny out West. “Together, they embark on a harrowing journey risking life and sanity,” read promotional materials for the pic.
The film is based on the 1960 transcendentalist novel by Williams, which explores man’s relationship with the natural world and details a largely untold but significant chapter in American history. Polsky is adapting the novel alongside Liam Satre-Meloy. “1917” director Sam Mendes was believed to have been interested in adapting the book around 10 years ago.
Altitude has also secured the film for U.K. and Irish distribution.
The film will be produced by Polsky, Molly Conners of Phiphen Pictures alongside Will Clarke and Andy Mayson for Altitude Film Entertainment and Cage’s Saturn Films. David Gallego (“Embrace of the Serpent”) will DoP and other key collaborators on the production will include wildlife conservation charity Defenders of Wildlife and American adventurer and writer Steve Rinella.
Shooting will begin in the U.S. in October.
“This is an urgent story with timeless themes — a gut-wrenching journey exploring the limits of human nature,” said Polsky. “Nick Cage is one of the most dynamic and interesting performers and to have him take on this brilliant role will be exciting.“
Clarke added: “Altitude are incredibly excited about launching ‘Butcher’s Crossing’ at Cannes. John Williams’ story is strikingly cinematic and Gabe’s vision for the film is the perfect fit. Additionally, it’s fantastic to be working with the legendary Nick Cage whose passion and appeal is second to none.”
The Cannes virtual market runs from June 21-25.