In what can be seen as the first big deal prior to the opening of the Cannes Film Festival, Relativity Studios is in final negotiations to pick up Bold Film’s next film, Shot Caller and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who stars as Jamie Lannister in HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones, has just been cast in the lead of the film. The film was picked up for around $3M with a wide release commitment. Shot Caller tells the story of a newly released prison gangster who is forced by the leaders of his gang to orchestrate a major crime with a brutal rival gang on the streets of Southern California.
The project is being directed by its screenwriter Ric Roman Waugh (Snitch) who went undercover as a volunteer parole agent in California to research his film. Interestingly, what he learned behind razor wire is that the gangs run the prisons and the street from the inside. The film will start production on May 26 in New Mexico. The film will be sold internationally by Sierra/Affinity who will be selling the film at Cannes.
Bold Films was the production company behind both the critically acclaimed Nightcrawler which was distributed through Open Road Films and the drama Whiplash (along with prod. co. Blumhouse), distributed last year by Sony Pictures Classics. The latter won three Academy Awards, including a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for its star J.K. Simmons.
The casting of Coster-Waldau is slightly unconventional but clearly Bold Films is backing the director’s choice, not unlike they did with director Damien Chazelle when he wanted to cast Miles Teller in Whiplash. Teller’s break-out performance was roundly praised by the critics. So Bold Films, once again, is backing an emerging star.
Bold’s Michel Litvak and Matthew Rhodes will serve as producers on the project along with Waugh and Participant Media’s Jonathan King who developed the project. Bold’s Gary Michael Walters, who is executive producing the film with Participant’s Jeff Skoll. The film will be overseen by Bold’s Lisa Zambri.
Coster-Waldau recently starred in Susanne Bier’s A Second Chance, which premiered at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival and also stars in the upcoming Summit Entertainment’s pic Gods of Egypt, set for a February 2016 release. He is represented by Impression Entertainment and WME, the latter of which packaged the film via its WME Global.