Seven years ago, I reported that South Korean helmer Park Chan-wook (Oldboy) was in talks to direct the ultraviolent western thriller The Brigands of Rattleborge from Bone Tomahawk writer S. Craig Zahler, and today I’ve confirmed with multiple sources that the long-gestating project has a new home and a new title. Amazon Studios has picked up the project, which is now being referred to as The Brigands of Rattlecreek.
Bradley Fischer (Shutter Island) will produce the film, which follows a sheriff and a doctor who seek revenge against a group of bandits who use the cover of a torrential thunderstorm to rob and terrorize the occupants of a small town. Zahler’s script topped the 2006 Black List but has languished in development, likely due to its violent content.
Sources say that Amazon and Fischer are courting Matthew McConaughey to play the doctor opposite another A-lister as the sheriff, though it remains early on the casting front and no actors have a closed deal at this time. Still, the fact that Amazon has swooped in to rescue this highly-regarded project, which puts them in business with a world-class filmmaker who’s comfortable with violent material, is great news for genre fans.
Fischer recently split from his partners at Mythology Entertainment so I truly have no idea how the rest of the producing credits will shake out on this project, though the director’s longtime collaborator Wonjo Jeong (The Little Drummer Girl) is expected to be involved in some kind of producing capacity. Amazon declined to comment on the project at this time.
This isn’t really a story about McConaughey, whose casting remains as yet unconfirmed, but the project seems right up his alley. The actor is coming off four straight box office disappointments between Gold, The Dark Tower, White Boy Rick and Serenity, but his upcoming film The Beach Bum is drawing encouraging reviews out of SXSW, and I also hear that his upcoming Guy Ritchie movie is a return to form for the Snatch director, so things are trending up for the Oscar-winning star of Dallas Buyers Club. McConaughey also isn’t afraid of dark, violent material, having earned rave reviews for his turn in Killer Joe.
Park is no stranger to revenge pics, having directed the “Vengeance” trilogy, which includes Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Lady Vengeance, and most notably, Oldboy. He also directed Fox Searchlight’s Stoker, the vampire movie Thirst, and most recently, The Handmaiden. He’s repped by WME, while McConaughey is repped by CAA.