EXCLUSIVE: Hyperion Media Group has acquired Porter Rockwell, a script from Holy Rollers and Affluenza screenwriter Antonio Macia. The Western action-adventure drama is based on Rockwell, the real-life gunslinging bodyguard of Mormon Church founder Joseph Smith (and later Brigham Young) who was known as the “Destroying Angel of Mormondom” for his violent ways.
The story is set in the Utah territory during the mid-1800s gold rush. Rockwell, who became a U.S. Deputy Marshal, reluctantly leads a family of prospectors into the mountains, where they are ambushed and he is left for dead. Fueled by vengeance, Rockwell treks through rugged and snowy terrain to hunt down the gang that kidnapped a rebellious young girl.
Hyperion founder and CEO Michael Mailis will produce alongside Michael Jenson, who developed the story with Macia and brought the project to Hyperion. Production is set to begin in Q3 2017.
“Porter Rockwell is the archetype of the Wild West, an icon and a harbinger of justice,” Mailis said. “He is a hero to the Mormon settlers he protected and an significant figure in our country’s history. The time has come for Hollywood to tell his story.”
James Coburn played Rockwell in the 1995 TV movie The Avenging Angel that featured Charlton Heston as Brigham Young.
Hyperion’s recent credits include co-financing the recently released Greta Gerwig-Ethan Hawke pic Maggie’s Plan as well as The Hallow, Mediterranea and Junction 48, the latter of which won the Panorama Audience Award in Berlin.
Macia is repped by Paradigm, Management 360 and attorney Gordon M. Bobb at Del Shaw.