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‘Jackie’ Director Pablo Larrain Boards Annapurna’s ‘The True American’

Variety logo Variety 4/4/2017 Dave McNary
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“Jackie” director Pablo Larrain has been tapped to helm Annapurna Pictures’ upcoming drama “The True American,” replacing Kathryn Bigelow.

Tom Hardy remains attached to star. Larrain will direct from his own adaptation of Anand Giridharadas’ nonfiction book of the same name. Annapurna topper Megan Ellison, Bigelow, Matthew Budman, and Juan de Dios Larraín will produce.

The story is set in Texas in the days following the 9/11 attacks. It follows Rais Bhuiyan, a Muslim immigrant and Bangladesh Air Force veteran who narrowly survived a killing spree that took the lives of two other immigrants. Employed at a Dallas-area convenience store as he established himself in America, Bhuiyan worked to have his attacker, self-proclaimed “Arab slayer” Mark Stroman, spared from execution.

“The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas” was published in 2014 by W. W. Norton & Company. Bigelow had been attached to direct “The True American” in 2014 with Hardy starring.

Neruda is a native of Chile whose credits include “The Club,” “Post Mortem,” “No,” and “Neruda.” “Jackie” was nominated for three Oscars at this year’s Academy Awards: Best actress for Natalie Portman, best original score, and best costume design. Larrain was nominated for a Spirit Award and a Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival.

Annapurna, which was founded by Ellison in 2010, has specialized in adult dramas such as Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Joy,” “20th Century Women,” “Foxcatcher,” “American Hustle,” and “Her.”

Larraín is represented by CAA and Management 360. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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