EXCLUSIVE: Squarely in the Oscar discussion for Black Mass, writer-director Scott Cooper is making a deal to rewrite and direct White Knight, a film that gives Warner Bros a potential series in the Bourne Identity/James Bond mold. John Lesher and Mark Williams are producing. Cooper will rewrite a script by Bill Dubuque (The Judge) that focuses on a disgraced Secret Service agent. When his relationship with his employer sours, the agent takes a job protecting the family of an arms dealer, putting himself at the center of a global CIA manhunt. WB’s Courtenay Valenti and Jon Gonda are shepherding.
Cooper started as an actor and has turned into an actor’s director, helping Jeff Bridges to a Best Actor Oscar for Crazy Heart, and then following with the underrated Out of the Furnace, a film that featured terrific performances from Christian Bale, Zoe Saldana, Casey Affleck and Woody Harrelson. Black Mass has Johnny Depp in the Oscar discussion. Cooper seems like a filmmaker perfectly poised to take on a more overtly commercial picture. He’s repped by CAA.