EXCLUSIVE: Black Panther and Creed II star Michael B. Jordan will play the deadly assassin Columbus in The Silver Bear, a potential franchise launch for Lionsgate based on the book series by Wanted and 3:10 to Yuma screenwriter Derek Haas. Frank Baldwin (The Godmother) has written the script that tells the formative story of a man who becomes the most feared and respected hit man in the criminal underworld.
The film will be produced by Jordan through Outlier Society and Nickel City Pictures’ Vishal Rungta, Mark Fasano, Ankur Rungta. Haas, Michael Garnett and Tobias Weymar will serve as executive producers.
Haas wrote three followup novels featuring an assassin who is so effective he becomes what Russian criminals call a silver bear: he never fails, and he seems immune to the stresses of his work. But he comes up against his own nightmarish origins when he takes on the job of killing the Speaker of the House, who is also a leading presidential candidate—and Columbus’ father. Beyond playing strong physical roles in Black Panther and the upcoming Creed sequel, Jordan has been gathering steam for his Outlier Society, the production shingle he formed in 2016 with Alana Mayo heading production and development. He’s shooting the Destin Daniel Cretton-directed Just Mercy, and Outlier Society has a slate of percolating projects that includes Gen:Lock, Raising Dion and David Makes Man.
Nickel City optioned the rights to the book franchise last year and hired Baldwin, who also scripted the Liam Neeson-starrer Hard Powder.
Said Nickel City’s Rungta: “We could not be more excited to work with Michael and Lionsgate. We have been huge fans of Michael all the way back to his days in The Wire, and from our first meeting we knew that he was the perfect fit for the role of Columbus.”
In confirming the story exclusively for Deadline, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group chairman Joe Drake called The Silver Bear “the kind of story that needs to be experienced on the big screen and Michael is the perfect movie star to inhabit the skin of this dynamic character and take us into the cinematic world of Columbus.”
Jordan is represented by WME and attorney Greg Slewett. Haas is WME and Adam Kaller; Baldwin is Syndicate Entertainment, Leverage Management and Stuart Rosenthal. WME and Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal represent Outlier Society and Endeavor Content and Jerry Dasti of Sloss Eckhouse LawCo represented Nickel City Pictures.