The Oscar-winning team of director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty) will reteam for an original true-crime drama currently known as Untitled Detroit Project. The pair will also produce the picture, which is Bigelow’s tenth from the director’s chair, along with Annapurna Pictures’ Megan Ellison and Matthew Budman. The production company will finance the film with a plan to start casting in the next couple of months in order to kick off principal photography sometime this summer.
Details on the picture are being kept under wraps for the moment. What we do know is that Untitled Detroit Project is “a crime drama set against the backdrop of Detroit’s devastating riots that took place over five haunting summer days in 1967.” The producers are targeting a 2017 release date for the film as it would fall on the 50th anniversary of said riots, though no studio is attached for distribution just yet.
This would be the first script for Boal that takes place in a domestic location, rather than the foreign soil of his Middle East-set pictures. According to the film’s press release, Boal has been researching the systemic racism in urban Detroit for more than a year.
Bigelow and Boal each earned a pair of Oscars for the 2008 picture, The Hurt Locker, with Bigelow becoming the first female director to win Best Achievement in Directing, Boal winning Best Writing, Original Screenplay, and each of them winning an Oscar for the film’s Best Motion Picture of the Year award. Boal earned a Oscar nomination for the 2012 picture Zero Dark Thirty, along with a Best Picture nod, but the film’s sole win came in the Best Achievement in Sound Editing category.
With all that previous Oscars attention, the current #OscarsSoWhite discussion, and the 50th anniversary of the infamous riots, you can be sure that Untitled Detroit Project already has eyes towards award wins for next year’s Academy Awards. Anyone care to make a prediction now?