EXCLUSIVE: John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle have been tapped to direct the action-thriller heist pic The Gafin Academy, to be produced by Image Movers and Voltage Films. Aaron Rapke and Stewart Kaye wrote the screenplay adapted by Danny King’s 2008 novel School For Scumbags. A fall production start is planned.
The book centers on Banners, a habitual teenage delinquent who, after being expelled from yet another school, finds himself hauled off to Gafin Academy, a reformative school that plays host to the worst of thieves, bullies, arsonists and vandals. However, rather than rehabilitating the students, the Gafin Academy utilizes their unique skill sets to pull off a massive heist.
Voltage’s Craig Flores and Nicolas Chartier are producing this with Image Movers’ Jack Rapke and Jackie Levine as well as Matt Sinnreich. Robert Zemeckis will executive produce the project with Voltage’s Jonathan Deckter as well as David Matalon and Andrew Vajna. J.J. Meyers brought in the screenplay to Voltage, which is handling worldwide sales and distribution.
The Dowdles co-wrote, directed and produced No Escape, which bowed in August via The Weinstein Company and starred Owen Wilson, Pierce Brosnan and Lake Bell. It grossed $54.4 million worldwide. They are usually co-writers on their films, with John directing and Drew producing; their credits include Sony/Screen Gems’ 2008 pic Quarantine and Universal’s 2014 pic As Above/So Below. John also directed 2010’s Devil from Universal based on a story by M. Night Shyamalan.
The brothers are repped by WME and Weintraub Tobin. Rapke is also repped by WME and Circle of Confusion, and Kaye is with WME.