When last we reported on the Fox Searchlight adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s short story, Animal Rescue, it was to tell you that Neil Burger (Limitless) was in line to direct. With Burger stepping aside to helm Divergent, writer/director Michael Roskam (Bullhead) is now seated in the director’s chair. Lehane adapted his own story and penned the script for Animal Rescue, a “crime drama [that] follows a lonely Boston bartender who rescues a puppy from a garbage can and becomes the target of the dog’s abusive and mentally unstable former owner, while simultaneously getting caught in the middle of a criminal conspiracy playing out in his mob-controlled bar.” Noted animal-lover Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises) is being eyed for the protagonist. Hit the jump for more.
Variety reports that Roskam will take over for the vacating Burger and that execs are zeroing in on Hardy to star. Hardy will likely weigh the opportunity to star in a Lehane adaptation against his other current projects, which include Doug Liman’s mountain-climbing epic, Everest, and two anti-poaching pictures which Hardy may star in and produce.
Lehane’s previous novels ”Mystic River,” “Gone Baby Gone” and “Shutter Island” have all been adapted with an award-winning success rate. His latest effort, Live by Night, is currently in the hands of Ben Affleck, who will write, direct produce and star for Warner Brothers.
Roskam’s directorial debut, Bullhead, was nominated for a foreign language Oscar. The writer/director also has The Tiger in development, an adaptation of John Vaillant’s novel scripted by Guillermo Ariaga (Babel). Roskam is also attached to write and direct the HBO pilot, Buda Bridge.