For many moviegoers, Attica is best known as the crowd rallying cry by Al Pacino’s character in Dog Day Afternoon. But CAA announced today that The Bourne Identity‘s Doug Liman will direct an insider’s view of the 1971 Attica state prison rebellion from a script by Academy Award nominee Geoffrey Fletcher (Precious). The film purports to explore the bloodiest prison confrontation in U.S. history and the firestorm of controversy that followed the 4-day standoff. Attica will be produced by Liman and David Bartis under their Hypnotic production banner, along with Elliot Abbott who is also financing the project’s development and Avrum Ludwig, a longtime Liman collaborator dating back to Swingers. The project is described as “a deeply personal one” for Liman. His father, high powered NYC attorney Arthur Liman, served as chief counsel to the New York State Special Commission on Attica Prison and co-authored the Commission’s searing report. It chastised then-Governor Nelson Rockefeller and prison authorities for their role in the riot, in which 32 inmates and 10 hostages were killed, 39 of them in an assault by state police officers. “My father’s report literally reads like a page turner,” said Liman in the CAA statement. “It is filled with stories of guards and prisoners from vastly different backgrounds learning to trust each other in the face of real human tragedy.” CAA, which represents Liman, Bartis, Fletcher and Abbott, said it is handling the film’s domestic distribution rights.
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