Shoot is due to get underway in New Orleans in June. The project is being sold and produced by Millennium Media, who will introduce the film to buyers in Cannes. O’Brien will play the protégé of a hitman (Oldman) who becomes determined to save a teenage girl from being sold by a human-trafficking ring. Additional casting is underway.
In the movie, “The Bayou” is where an aging and colorfully immoral mob hit man named Tickie Bordeaux (Oldman) hides his victims. Tickie is mentoring dangerous young Ceto (O’Brien), who lost his kid sister to the crime underworld and now expresses himself on his blues harmonica. They work for crime boss Emmeline, who operates out of a French Quarter gentleman’s club, along with her right hand, Stella the Madame.
Ceto is rising fast, until he secretly spares a 16-year-old runaway named Billie during a killing. The girl follows Ceto and asks for help, because she has nobody else. They develop a brother/sister-type relationship, that ultimately sets Ceto on a violent collision course with his bosses.
The script comes from Point Break scribe W Peter Iliff, with Runaway Jury and Homefront helmer Gary Fleder in talks to direct. Producers are Natalie Burn (The Expendables 3) under her Born To Burn Films banner and Rob Van Norden (Olympus Has Fallen). Exec producers are Avi Lerner, Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson, Jeffrey Greenstein, Jonathan Yunger, Doug Urbanski and Iliff.
Oldman is coming off his Oscar-winning career performance as Winston Churchill in acclaimed biopic Darkest Hour. O’Brien is building a head of steam on the big screen with movies including the lucrative Maze Runner franchise, Deepwater Horizon and American Assassin. Bayou marks an interesting change of pace for both actors, and buyers we have spoken to already are piqued by the combination.