The First Purge filmmaker Gerard McMurray has boarded Michael B. Jordan’s upcoming hitman tale The Silver Bear as writer and director.
The Silver Bear reunites Jordan and McMurray who previously worked together on the 2013 critically acclaimed Sundance Grand Jury/Audience Award winning Fruitvale Station with the latter as an Associate Producer. McMurray’s The First Purge became the highest grossing pic in the Universal/Blumhouse franchise with close to $137M WW. He also directed Netflix’s Burning Sands and is aboard the new Twilight Zone series.
The Silver Bear is a film adaptation of Derek Haas’ best-seller about Columbus (Jordan), the most feared and respected hitman in the criminal underworld. The series of novels was optioned by Nickel City Pictures, who hired Frank Baldwin to adapt the first book and attached Jordan to star and produce before bringing the package to Lionsgate. Deadline exclusively reported that news back in October. The Black Panther star is producing via his Outlier Society along with Lionsgate and Nickel City Pictures. Vishal Rungta, Mark Fasano and Ankur Rungta will be producing for Nickel City.
“Fruitvale Station changed our lives. Six years later I’m reuniting with Michael in 2019 and directing him in one of the most exciting and intelligent kick-ass action projects Hollywood and Lionsgate has cooking. It’s beyond dreams,” said McMurray. “Michael is an amazing, one-of-a-kind talent. He will bring a chilling and unnerving edge, authenticity and precision to the character of Columbus. The Silver Bear is an incredible hunt-and-chase story about the most skilled and feared hitman in the underworld and I have a unique vision for how I want to bring that to life. I am beyond honored and excited to be working with such supportive partners as Outlier Society, Nickel City Pictures and Lionsgate on my next film.”
“Every step forward on The Silver Bear has been the perfect marriage of the material to the creative talent involved. We could not be more amazed by the way this project has come together, especially with Gerard McMurray’s bold, creative vision for the movie and Michael B. Jordan’s immense skills as an actor and a producer,” said Lionsgate Motion Picture Group President Nathan Kahane. “We are confident the right team is in place to do something very special with Derek Haas’ action-packed, suspense-filled novel and are thrilled to be collaborating with daring filmmakers like Gerard, Michael and the team at Nickel City Pictures. As we re-energize our slate with films like this, Lionsgate intends to be a home where artists can bring and make their very best movies.”
“We are very excited by the addition of Gerard to direct The Silver Bear. From the first meeting, it was clear that Gerard was the right person to realize the potential of the underlying material and is a perfect match for Michael’s talent and charisma. This combination will deliver an interesting, layered action film that today’s audience will love,” said Nickel City Pictures’ Rungta.
Derek Haas, Michael Garnett and Tobias Weymar will serve as executive producers. Lionsgate Motion Picture Group SVP of Production & Development James Myers and Director of Production & Development Dana Gills will oversee the film for the studio. Jordan’s film and TV company Outlier Society’s upcoming projects include Gen:Lock, Raising Dion, and David Makes Man. Other projects on Nickel City’s slate include Haunt, Marlowe, Snow Ponies and Naja.
McMurray is represented by WME, Artists First, and attorney Bianca Levin.