HBO is set to team with David Gordon Green, Jody Hill and Danny McBride's production shingle Rough House Pictures for a television remake of Ian Palmer's Sundance-starring documentary "Knuckle," which follows the story of two Irish families who attempt to settle their feud through bare-knuckle boxing.
It's presumed the project will be a narrative TV series based on the documentary, which is already earning strong praise from its early appearance at Sundance with one review describing the pic as a "brutal, bizarre, darkly humorous and utterly compelling [...] managing to have almost no aesthetic gloss or artifice, while still delivering more than just unintelligible brawling."
Among those in contention for the remake rights were the production companies of Gerard Butler, Robert Downey Jr., and Vin Diesel but it looks like HBO and Rough House are set to win the race. Whether or not Green, Hill and McBride's involvement in the remake will extend from a producing role remains to be seen but -- at the very least -- Hill and McBride's own fascination with sport bodes well for potential involvement. Their partnership has a seen a feature "The Foot Fist Way" set in the world of martial arts, and the currently running series, "Eastbound & Down," is led by McBride's has-been baseball professional, so "Knuckle" isn't exactly outside their wheelhouse, although it remains to be seen whether the new project will share the comedic sensibilities of their earlier work. Here's the doc's full synopsis courtesy of the Sundance website:
Residing in Ireland and parts of the United Kingdom, the Travellers are a traditionally nomadic ethnic group with their own customs and a deep sense of clan pride, despite being interrelated by marriage within their small population. When conflicts arise, arguments are often settled through ritualized, bare-knuckle fighting. Director Ian Palmer followed members of the Traveller community for 12 years and became privy to a decades-long family feud of Hatfield-McCoy proportions.
At the center of the conflict is James, the confident, yet reluctant, defender of the Quinn McDonaghs, who is frequently challenged to fight his cousins, the Joyces. An outsider in a secretive world, Palmer waited years before he began to learn the reasons for the animosity between the rival clans. Disturbingly raw, yet compulsively engaging, KNUCKLE offers candid access to a rarely seen, brutal world where a cycle of bloody violence seems destined to continue unabated.
So pretty much the story behind Brad Pitt's character in Guy Ritchie's comedy-caper "Snatch" infused with a family rivalry drama a la the Hatfield and McCoys told through the twisted, hilarious eyes of the Rough House boys? Count us in. [Deadline]