EXCLUSIVE: Chaos Walking director Doug Liman has joined upcoming documentary Tread, about the Colorado welder who rampaged through his local town in a weaponized bulldozer. Liman will produce the Paul Solet-directed (Grace) movie alongside Undefeated producer Glen Zipper and Sean Stuart, producer on Antoine Fuqua’s upcoming Muhammad Ali documentary for HBO. Great Point Media will launch the project in Cannes next month. CAA reps U.S.
The project charts the story of Marvin John Heemeyer, the American welder who in 2004 became known for his rampage with a modified bulldozer. Outraged over zoning disputes, he armored a Komatsu D355A bulldozer with layers of steel and concrete and used it to demolish the town hall, the former mayor’s house, and other buildings in Granby, Colorado. The rampage ended when the bulldozer got stuck in the basement of a Gambles store he was in the process of destroying. Heemeyer then killed himself with a handgun.
During the event, local police, Colorado State Patrol, Forestry Services and SWAT units followed the machine in a surreal eight-and-a-half-mile-per-hour procession. The homemade tank was armed with three high-powered firearms, including a .50 caliber sniper rifle with armor-piercing shells. It took 12 hours to cut into the machine and remove Heemeyer’s body. The movie will speak to those who knew Heemeyer — who was subsequently both demonized and lionized as a folk hero — first hand.
Solet (Grace), whose 2017 crime-thriller Bullet Head starred Adrien Brody, Antonio Banderas and John Malkovich, is currently in production on the movie alongside production designer Robb Wilson King (Breaking Bad) and DoP Zoran Popovic (Grace) who will recreate incidents and the machine driven by Heemeyer for the film. Composer is Austin Wintory (Bullet Head).
Doug Liman said, “Marvin’s story is part wish fulfillment part cautionary tale. He left behind a wake of unbelievable destruction and Paul Solet is the perfect director to bring this story to the screen.” Nada Cirjanic, Head of Sales for Great Point Media added, “Tread is both an important film, because of its themes, and a compelling one, because it’s a unique story. Buyers and documentary film audiences will be transfixed.”
Great Point’s Cannes slate also includes Shakespeare adaptation King Lear, starring Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, Emily Watson, Florence Pugh, Jim Broadbent and Andrew Scott, and comedy-drama Hot Air, starring Steve Coogan, Taylor Russell, and Neve Campbell.