EXCLUSIVE: Daniel Craig is in talks to star opposite Halle Berry in Mustang director Deniz Gamze Erguven’s anticipated English-language debut pic Kings. The project is set against a backdrop of rising tensions in Los Angeles during the Rodney King trial in 1992. Craig will play Ollie, a loner who lives in South Central — one of its only white residents — who befriends Berry’s character, a tough, protective mother who looks after a group of kids. When the riots explode in the city, Craig’s character helps Berry, who is secretly in love with him, try and track down the kids from the worst of the violence. Kings will have the same mix of lightness and tough emotion that made Mustang such a standout.
Vincent Maraval’s Insiders is putting the film together and selling it with CAA handling domestic. Charles Gillibert, who produced Mustang, is lead producing.
The riots spread across L.A. and lasted six days, leading to 55 deaths in the wake of the acquittal of the policemen who beat King. The footage of that beating was infamously captured on home video and would become a symbol of police brutality.
This has been Erguven’s dream project ever since graduating from the prestigious French Fémis film school. She first presented it to the Cannes L’Atélier co-production market in 2011 before deciding to make Mustang her directorial debut. That pic, set in a remote Turkish village and depicting the life of five young orphaned sisters and their challenges growing up as girls in a conservative society, has wowed critics and viewers. It was Oscar nominated for Best Foreign Language film and was a box office smash in France, earning almost half a million admissions in the country alone.
While Craig’s association with James Bond appears to be coming to an end, the actor is gearing up his non-007 projects. Deadline broke the news that he was in talks to join Steven Soderbergh’s heist film Logan Lucky opposite Channing Tatum, Riley Keogh and Adam Driver. The actor has also signed to star in the 20-episode Showtime series Purity for producer Scott Rudin and writer-director Todd Field. The series based on the novel by Jonathan Franzen is about young female activist named Purity (or Pip) who begins a worldwide search for her Dad.
Craig is repped by CAA and Independent Talent Group. Berry and Erguven are repped by CAA and Management 360.