A long-gestating project based on a true story is finally coming to fruition. The True American first hit our radar in 2014, when Annapurna Pictures won the rights to the Anand Giridharadas’ nonfiction book of the same name and attached Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow to take the helm with Tom Hardy starring. But when Bigelow solidified Detroit as her next film, that left The True American in limbo a bit.
The film takes place in the days following the 9/11 attacks and revolves around a Muslim immigrant and Bangladesh Air Force veteran named Rais Bhuiyan who narrowly survived a killing spree that left two other immigrants dead in Dallas. Bhuiyan then worked to have his attacker, self-proclaimed “Arab slayer” Mark Stroman, spared from the death penalty.
Annapurna signed visionary Jackie filmmaker Pablo Larrain to direct last year, and now the cast is firming up. Variety reports that Amy Adams is in talks to star in the drama, eyeing the project as her next film. There are still some scheduling issues to work out as Adams will be busy later this year promoting her HBO limited series Sharp Objects, which she both stars in and produces, but there’s significant interest on her part to make this deal work.
Kumail Nanjiani and Mark Ruffalo are also in talks to co-star, and this is shaping up to be a highly anticipated project. Adams will no doubt be back in the Oscar conversation later this year for Backseat, in which she plays Lynne Cheney opposite Christian Bale as the former Vice President, and while she’s weighing a number of offers at the moment, The True American is said to be the frontrunner.
While Variety has Annapurna as the distributor, Deadline says Annapurna exited the financing scenario and the project is currently in negotiations to go to Amazon. Bigelow remains involved as a producer on the project, but it’ll be Larrain bringing the film to fruition now. The Chilean filmmaker gained prominence for his 2016 film Neruda, but it was his striking take on Jackie that wowed audiences and critics alike. I was curious to see what he’d do next, and I’m mighty excited to see his take on The True American—especially with this cast.