British actor Tom Hardy will team up with acclaimed “Hurt Locker” and “Zero Dark Thirty” director Kathryn Bigelow for her next film, an adaptation of Anand Giridharadas’ recently published book “True American: Murder & Mercy in Texas.”
In “True American,” Giridharadas, a columnist for the New York Times, details the true stories of Bangladeshi immigrant Raisuddin Bhuiyan and self-proclaimed “American terrorist” Mark Stroman. In a post-9/11 "revenge" massacre, Stroman shot up a Dallas minimart, critically wounding Bhuiyan and killing two others. Ten years later, Bhuiyan made an unexpected gesture toward the man who nearly killed him. Rights to the complex, morally ambiguous “True American” were almost immediately snapped up by Megan Ellison of Annapurna Pictures after its May 4 publication. No reports of other bidders have emerged.
The pairing of Bigelow and Hardy (“Inception,” “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”) alone will be enough to draw some viewers to “True American.” Hardy has earned a reputation as a compelling character actor through his work in films like “Bronson” and “Locke,” while Oscar-winner Bigelow has established herself as one of the industry’s most influential filmmakers with politically topical films in “The Hurt Locker” and “Zero Dark Thirty.”
Bigelow has not announced whom Hardy will play, but sites like Cinema Blend and the Dissolve speculate that he will portray Stroman. No other actors have yet been announced. Annapurna will produce “True American.” The small studio, which backed recent acclaimed films “The Master” and “Her,” has in the past worked with both Hardy and Bigelow. Annapurna produced 2012’s “Lawless” starring Hardy and co-produced Bigelow’s latest, “Zero Dark Thirty.”
Hardy has been twice nominated for a British Independent Film Award for Best Actor, winning for his performance in 2009’s “Bronson” and considered for his 2013 film “Locke.” Bigelow took home the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Director for 2009’s “The Hurt Locker” and was nominated for the BAFTA Award, the Golden Globe and the Academy Award, among others, for 2012’s “The Hurt Locker.”