EXCLUSIVE: Commercial director Bryan Buckley, whose feature film debut The Bronze was the opening film at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and was bought by Relativity for $3M, will next direct a biographical comedy-drama based on a story in the New York Times‘ bestseller The Pirates Of Somalia from Jay Bahadur. The feature, titled Where The White Man Runs Away, will star American Horror Story‘s and X-Men‘s Evan Peters.
The Bronze was supposed to be released this month before Relativity’s financial mess pushed it back. Before the company filed bankruptcy, Sony Pictures Classics picked it up, terminating Relativity’s rights, thereby removing the film from the company’s assets before it filed for Chapter 11. It has yet to be slated for release.
Where The White Man Runs Away, which was also adapted by Buckley, tells the story of rookie Canadian journalist Bahadur, who in 2008 formed a half-baked plan to embed himself among the pirates of Somalia. He ultimately succeeded in providing the first close-up look into who these men are, how they live, and the forces that drive them. Bahadur famously interviewed the pirate that hijacked the Maersk Alabama before he took the ship, which was the subject of the Tom Hanks-starring film Captain Phillips.
Production begins this winter in South Africa with Hungry Man (Asad), BCDF Pictures, (The Outskirts) and Kalahari Film & Media (District 9) producing. Jane Rosenthal (Meet The Parents) will executive produce.
Before directing and executive producing The Bronze, Buckley was nominated for an Oscar for his short film Asad which also chronicles life in war-torn Somalia.
Buckley is also well known for his award-winning commercial work, specifically directing more than 50 spots for the Super Bowl, and his production outfit Hungry Man is one of the world’s largest commercial production companies. Mino Jarjoura and Matt Lefebvre will oversee production for Hungry Man which will produce.
Peters is best known for his work in FX’s American Horror Story. He currently portrays Mr. March in the fifth season, American Horror Story: Hotel. He will next be seen reprising his role as Quicksilver in X-Men: Apocalypse which will be released May 27, 2016. Earlier this year, Peters wrapped production on Elvis And Nixon alongside Kevin Spacey and Michael Shannon. Peters’ other film credits include Kick-Ass.
BCDF Pictures is also producing YA classic Stargirl this winter with Catherine Hardwicke directing and Joey King and Charlie Plummer starring. BCDF has high school comedy The Outskirts scheduled for wide release this winter. Its other upcoming projects include Peter Hutchings’ Arrivals with Asa Butterfield, Maisie Williams and Nina Dobrev.
Peters is repped by CAA, Relevant, and Ziffren Brittenham. Buckley is with WME, Untitled, and Bloom Hergott. BCDF is repped by Sheri Jeffrey at Hogan Lovells. Bahadur was repped in the deal by Sean Daily at Hotchkiss and Associates on behalf of Rick Broadhead and Associates.