EXCLUSIVE: Russo Brothers Studio has just won a heated bidding war for The Electric State, an illustrated novel from Simon Stålenhag. Andy Muschietti, who directed one of the year’s biggest hits with It, is negotiating to direct the film. He will produce with Barbara Muschietti. RBS principals Joe and Anthony Russo will produce with them, and their production head Mike Larocca will be executive producer. At least four studios made offers and numerous producers and directors chased it.
Writing the script will be Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, the screenwriters who teamed with the Russos on the last two Captain America films and the two sequels to The Avengers that the Russo Brothers are directing. Russell Ackerman and John Schoenfelder are attaching to produce as well.
Novel is a re-imagined low tech apocalyptic mid 90s vision of the American West, with stunning visual artwork. The narrative artbook was produced through a Kickstarter campaign, a link worth watching because it conveys the visual scope with compelling images. Simon Stålenhag is the internationally acclaimed author, concept designer and artist behind Tales from the Loop and Things from the Flood. His images depict hyper-realistic Scandinavian landscapes and he tapped that style to convey America in The Electric State.
The Russo Brothers confirmed the deal to Deadline: “The opportunity to partner with inspirational talents like Simon, Andy, Chris and Steve is exactly the reason we started our company. We can’t wait to help this team create something special.”
The Russo Brothers add another plum project to the studio they have been building out for a year while they simultaneously direct The Avengers films. Their monied venture is aimed to function as an artist collective with an eye toward directing films and producing others. They launched with a deal for the next film to be written and directed by the Swiss Army Man team of Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, and they also have Morten Tyldum to direct Exit West, along with the SyFy-produced series Deadly Class, the series Mastermind, and a project with Larry Charles.
The author will executive produce with Julia Angelin of The Salomonsson Agency.
WME repped Simon and the Salomonsson Agency in the deal. WME reps the Muschietti’s with Ziffren Brittenham, and the agency reps the Russo Brothers with Reder and Feig LLP; UTA reps Markus & McFeely. Salomonsson’s attorney is Keith Fleer.