EXCLUSIVE: With production on Indiana Jones 5 hitting the home stretch, James Mangold is getting his future dance card in order, with his attention now on a film centered around one of Hollywood’s most iconic talents. Sources tell Deadline that Mangold and 20th Century Studios are in development on a project about the life of filmmaker and comedian Buster Keaton, with Mangold set to direct and produce. The film is based on the book Buster Keaton: Cut to the Chase by Marion Meade, and execs have made this a top priority as they meet with writers to adapt the book.
An icon of American cinema, Joseph Frank “Buster” Keaton was a pioneer in the the early days of silent movies and to this day is considered one of the great physical comedians in movie history. His stunt work on such classics like The General and Sherlock Jr. are still considered some of the more impressive set pieces to be undertaken, cementing him as one of the founding figures in film history.
Mangold seems a perfect fit to bring Keaton’s story to life given his range in both delivering his own incredible set pieces in films like 3:10 to Yuma, Logan, Ford v Ferrari and the upcoming Indiana Jones 5 as well as delivering balanced stories with rich character arcs like his previous Oscar-winning Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line.
The project also keeps him in the Disney and 20th Century Studios family, where he currently has a first-look deal. Mangold’s ties to 20th go back to when he was hand-picked by Hugh Jackman to take over the Wolverine franchise, leading him to directing The Wolverine and Logan. Following Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century, he was quickly tapped by the studio and Steven Spielberg to take over as director for Indiana Jones 5, which is currently filming with Harrison Ford reprising the Jones role.
Mangold is repped by WME, Management 360 and Sloane Offer Weber & Dern. The book was repped by Echo Lake Entertainment on behalf of the Robin Straus Agency.
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