EXCLUSIVE: Solstice Studios has acquired and is fast-tracking late summer or early fall start Manhunt, the working title of an action film based on the Kazuhiro Kiuchi Japanese novel and the Takashi Miike-directed cult classic film Shield of Straw. The American remake is produced in association with Depth of Field, Nippon TV and Anew. Andrew Miano, Dan Balgoyen and Naoaki Kitazima are the producers, with Paul & Chris Weitz, Sanford Climan, and Naomi Hatta the exec producers.
The screenplay for the American version is written by Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt (the Olympus Has Fallen series). They will also be executive producers.
Manhunt is an action-thriller that begins with the brutal murder of the granddaughter of a wealthy man. Her grieving grandfather issues a challenge heard around the world: “Kill the murderer, and I’ll pay you $1 billion. If you die in the process, the money goes to your family.” All that stands between the accused murderer and death is a tough U.S. Marshall who takes his moral code seriously and who is tasked with delivering the accused from New York to Los Angeles, with just about everyone from nurses to shop clerks to sophisticated criminal organizations trying to kill them both and cash in.
Rothenberger and Benedikt are represented by UTA and Kaplan / Perrone Entertainment.
This becomes one of the early slate films for Solstice Studios, launched last fall by prexy/CEO Mark Gill, Production Heads Andrew Gunn and Guy Botham and Marketing/Strategy Head Vincent Bruzzese to generate three to five movies per year with global appeal in the $30M-$80M budget range. Launched in partnership with Ingenious Media, the company plans to acquire two to four films per year for U.S. distribution.