EXCLUSIVE: In one of its first alignments with a major filmmaker under its new regime, Warner Bros has set James Gray to write and direct White Devil, a contemporary drama that is eyed as a priority project. It’s the story of a white orphan who is adopted into a Chinese family, and who rises to the top of the Chinese Mafia in Boston. This might sound far-fetched, but there is a similar case on trial in Massachusetts with similar circumstances involving a drug-trafficking conspiracy centered around Asian organized crime. Steven Kane and Matthew Valentinas are exec producers.
This is expected to be a big scale film for Gray, who most recently helmed the period drama The Immigrant with Joaquin Phoenix, Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Renner. That film, which bowed at the Cannes Film Festival in May, will be released by The Weinstein Company. Gray’s crime genre films are We Own The Night, The Yards and Little Odessa. Gray is also still attached to The Lost City Of Z, an adaptation of the David Grann book which has begun to pick up steam again at Paramount and Plan B. He is also aligned with the Fox/New Regency drama The Gray Man. Gray is repped by CAA.