Fresh from his long overdue Oscar win for “The Revenant,” Leonardo DiCaprio and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” director J.J. Abrams were looking to secure the film rights to the true story of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) origin while handling a case of murder of a Native American tribe for oil. Unfortunately, they have lost the bidding war to Dan Friedkin and Bradley Thomas.
Deadline reports that Imperative Entertainment has won the filming rights to David Grann’s new and yet-to-be-published non-fiction book, “Killers of the Flower Moon: An American Crime and the Birth of the FBI,” for a whopping US$5 million (approximately AU$6.7 million).
“’The Lost City of Z’ is the only book that I’ve ever read cover to cover, then immediately picked up and read again,” Friedkin told Deadline. “With ‘Killers of the Flower Moon,’ David has once again crafted a unique and compelling story and I’m honoured that he has allowed us to bring it to life on screen,” he added.
Mike Fleming Jr. of Deadline, who broke the story, claims that he heard that money was a priority for Grann which is the reason behind DiCaprio and Abrams losing the bid.
The Wrap earlier reported that the “The Revenant” star and the “Super 8” director, along with Paramount Pictures, were engaged in a bidding war to secure the rights to “Killers of the Flower Moon” and were up against Sony Pictures’ bid for George Clooney to direct the picture and Amy Pascal to produce. However, according to industry insiders, the powerhouse combo of Abrams and DiCaprio along with “Forrest Gump” screenwriter Eric Roth should have been a very tempting offer for the author. After his Oscar speech, DiCaprio is now known as a champion of environmental issues and supports the rights of indigenous tribal people around the world. Now, it appears that money was more important for Grann. Time will tell whether his decision was a right one.
As it stands now, Imperative partners Dan Friedkin and Bradley Thomas will be producing the adaptation. Friedkin is a Houston-based entrepreneur who made his fortune through automotive and other ventures and who fully funds Imperative Entertainment. The other partners of Imperative Entertainment are Tim Kring and Zak Kadison. The production house develops projects both for film and TV. Its first project was NBC’s “Heroes Reborn.” Imperative Entertainment is currently producing a coming of age film entitled “Hot Summer Nights” starring Emory Cohen, Thomas Jane, and Maika Monroe for release this year.
Another work of the author, “The Lost City of Z,” is already under development by Paramount Pictures starring Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, and Tom Holland. It will be directed by James Gray and produced by Brad Pitt.