April 11, 2011


Scott Cooper, whose feature film debut was 2009’s Crazy Heart, has been tapped to rewrite and direct the film The Low Dweller for Relativity Media. The script was written on spec in 2008 by Brad Ingelsby and sparked an intense battle for the rights to the film. In the initial deal, Leonardo DiCaprio was attached to produce and star in the film, with Ridley Scott directing. Deadline reports that DiCaprio and Scott will now simply be producing the film.

The Low Dweller is described as a dark drama set in 1986. The story focuses on Slim, “a man released after serving years in prison for murder who wants only to follow through on his promise to marry his long-suffering girlfriend. But when he discovers his brother has been murdered after getting involved in a gambling racket, his goals change and he avenges the murder. Hit the jump for an update on the other projects that Cooper is currently attached to.

[Update: We’ve been sent the press release for the film and apparently, though based on the script The Low Dweller, the title of the film is Out of the Furnace. The full press release is included after the jump]

jeff-bridges-robert-duvall-scott-cooper-imageI was a big fan of Crazy Heart, and the fact that it was Cooper’s first film makes it all the more impressive. As one would expect, after shepherding Jeff Bridges to a Best Actor Oscar Cooper was inundated with offers. Last November, it was reported that Cooper was attached to helm a remake of the Argentine thriller Carancho from a script by Aaron Stockard (The Town). That film tells the story of “an ambulance-chasing personal injury attorney (Ricardo Darin) who straddles the line between helping unfortunate accident victims and exploiting them by skimming the proceeds for his employer.”

Cooper was next in talks to write the script for director Francis Lawrence’s adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand’s bestselling non-fiction novel Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. However, just recently Universal tapped Richard LaGravenese (P.S. I Love You) to pen the adaptation instead, with no mention of Cooper or whether or not he had even written a draft.

Additionally, Cooper is attached to write and direct The Pale Blue Eye for Fox 2000. Deadline’s report doesn’t mention where The Low Dweller falls in Cooper’s schedule, or even if he’s still attached to Carancho or The Pale Blue Eye. Nevertheless, I’m excited to see what the writer/director has in store for his sophomore effort, and The Low Dweller certainly sounds like an intriguing flick. It’ll be very interesting to see Cooper tackle a revenge film.

Here’s the press release:

Scott Cooper to Direct Relativity’s Out of the Furnace

Production Targeted for 2011

(Beverly Hills, CA) April 11, 2011 – Relativity Media has closed a deal with Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart) to write and direct their upcoming Out of the Furnace, announced Relativity’s President of Worldwide Production Tucker Tooley. Production is targeted to start sometime in 2011.

Cooper, known for writing, producing and directing the highly-acclaimed, Oscar®-winning Crazy Heart, will direct the film based on the story from The Low Dweller by Brad Ingelsby (The Dynamiter).

Out of the Furnace, a gritty throwback to films of the 1970’s, follows an ex-con, who once released from prison, is given no choice but to avenge the death of his brother.

“Scott Cooper drew raw emotion from the story and inspired amazing performances from his actors in Crazy Heart. We are excited for him to shepherd this project,” says Relativity President of Worldwide Production, Tucker Tooley.

Alongside Relativity, the film is being produced by Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way and Ridley and Tony Scott’s Scott Free with Energy Entertainment.

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