EXCLUSIVE: James McTeigue, who just completed the John Cusack-starrer The Raven for Relativity Media, is getting back in business with Ryan Kavanaugh. I’m told that McTeigue is making a deal to direct Ness/Capone, the Grant Pierce Myers script that made the 2010 Black List and puts a new spin on the epic battle between Eliot Ness and Al Capone during the Prohibition Era 1920s. Relativity acquired it in April. McTeigue is negotiating, even as he is casting his next film, Message From the King, the Oliver Butcher- and Stephen Cornwell-scripted thriller about an enigmatic outsider who comes to L.A. to investigate the sudden disappearance of his sister. That film is being financed by FilmNation Entertainment.
Ness/Capone covers the feud in more shades of gray than were evident in The Untouchables. Ness is a skirt-chasing 26-year-old publicity hound who seemed to get an adrenaline charge out of courting danger, kicking in doors, smashing moonshine stores and rubbing it in the noses of Capone and other mobsters. He would parade confiscated bootleg trucks past Capone’s hotel, calling Capone in advance to suggest he look out the window. Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Jeremy Bell, Gianni Nunnari, Jason Felts and Rene Rigal are producing.
McTeigue is repped by CAA.