EXCLUSIVE: Albert Hughes has been attached to direct North Hollywood, the feature film from Greg Silverman’s Stampede that will tell the true story of the deadly 1997 North Hollywood shootout, where the LAPD and a pair of bank robbers with a military-grade arsenal faced off in a morning gun battle on the San Fernando Valley streets.
Inside Man scribe Russell Gewirtz (Inside Man) has adapted the story for the action thriller, which is now set to begin principal photography early next year in New Mexico, with advanced discussions underway for the ensemble cast. It will tell the story of the events surrounding the heroes at the center of the deadly encounter on February 28, 1997, which is considered the largest shootout in the history of U.S. law enforcement and played out live on the local news.
The robbers had just exited after robbing a Bank of America branch when they were confronted by police, who had no idea the firepower they were about to face. In the end, both suspects were killed, 12 officers and eight bystanders were injured, and bullet holes from about 2,000 rounds of ammo pocked nearby buildings and parked cars.
Stampede’s Silverman and Lisa Zambri will produce alongside Cedar Park’s David Ayer and Chris Long, and Industry’s Stephen Crawford and Ava Jamshidi. Stuart Ford’s AGC Studios has boarded the project as principal financier, with additional financing to come from Stampede. Ford and Stampede’s Gideon Yu and Chris Bosco will serve as executive producers.
Hughes is no stranger the gritty crime genre, with credits including co-directing with brother Allen Menace II Society and The Book of Eli. He most recently directed the prehistoric adventure Alpha and is also executive producing and directing multiple episodes of Showtime’s limited series The Good Lord Bird starring Ethan Hawke.
“Albert is the dream partner to bring this story to life with his signature style and authentic eye for detail,” Silverman said. “We’re beyond thrilled to be working with him. This is an incredible true story many of us remember, and Russell’s script is just electric — a staggering work of drama and violence fueled by media obsession. It’s a cautionary tale for the world we find ourselves in.”
Said Ford: “North Hollywood is a gritty, ultra-realistic action thriller and Albert is the perfect filmmaker to bring such a kinetic, powerful true story to the screen. This is a very exciting project for us to partner on with our friends at Stampede.”
Hughes is represented by CAA. Gerwitz is represented by CAA and Industry Entertainment. Bosco and Anna Pinar negotiated the deal for Stampede, while Miguel Palos and Anant Tamirisa negotiated for AGC.