Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith) will direct the 70s prison movie Attica, to be written by Geoffrey Fletcher, who temped as he wrote the screenplays that prepared him for the Oscar-nominated adaptation Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire.
Fletcher was on my recent screenwriting panel. And here's my Jumpers profile of Liman, who turns out movies that break the mold of standard-issue studio fare, but he drives his collaborators crazy in the process. (Next up for Liman is Fair Game, starring Sean Penn and Naomi Watts.) Liman is probably better suited to indie filmmaking, so I hope this personal, serious, commercially iffy drama works out.
For those of you who don't remember, Attica Prison in upstate New York was the site of a controversial and bloody four-day prison stand-off which took the lives of 32 inmates and 10 hostages, 39 of them in an assault by state police officers. "It was the largest loss of life by Americans killing Americans since the Civil War," writes Liman on the 30ninjas blog. Liman's father, Watergate player Arthur Liman, was also chief counsel to the New York State Special Commission on Attica Prison and co-authored its damning report. Limon will produce with his Hypnotic Productions partner David Bartis and Elliot Abbott (who is developing the project) and Avrum Ludwig, who also produced Liman's Swingers and Jumper.
CAA, which reps Liman, Bartis and Fletcher, is selling distribution rights. Kris Tapley broke the story.