Random Acts of Violence started off as the movies’ answer to Grand Theft Auto. But Rockstar Games decide the limited financial prospects weren’t worth the risk of damage to the brand, so the company declined to sell the GTA rights to Fox. The studio plowed ahead and commissioned a script that resembled Grand Theft Auto: an ex-con steals a string of product placement-friendly sports cars to save his failing repo business. But Fox was unhappy with that draft, and steered Random Acts down a different path.
David Von Ancken (Seraphim Falls) is the man in charge now. Von Ancken ditched the cars, and churned out a thriller said to be more akin to The Departed or The Town. And the lead role is apparently just perfect for Eminem, who looks to return to Hollywood after an nine-year hiatus following 2002’s 8 Mile. More, including a Random synopsis, after the jump:
Vulture provides an outline for Von Ancken’s latest draft:
An ex-con smarter than his past is fresh out of prison and trying to stay legit — but his efforts are complicated by his old gang who wants him back on the job. So, too, does the FBI, which hopes he’ll wear a wire and bring down the crime syndicate. The ex-con, meanwhile, tries to play both sides against each other long enough to exact revenge against those — on both sides of the law — who sent him to prison in the first place.
Sounds like a familiar trope. But 8 Mile showed off so much potential that the rapper has not yet fully capitalized on, save for a scene-stealing cameo in Funny People. If handled correctly, Random Acts of Violence should be a fine starring vehicle. Eminem has also been linked to a role in the La Ronde adaptation 360 from Fernando Mereilles (Blindness), plus the boxing drama Southpaw from Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy). Shady’s back! (Tell a friend.)
Shady Films’ Paul Rosenberg and Stuart Parr would produce Random Acts of Violence if Eminem signs on. Fox may sic another writer on the script while Von Ancken is at his day job directing episodic television. But the studio is expected to bring Von Ancken on as director if the film is ready to shoot later in 2011.