After winning a DGA Award for his work on Showtime‘s limited series Escape at Dannemora, Ben Stiller is in talks to direct the crime movie The Seven Five for MGM, Collider has exclusively learned.
The Seven Five is based on the 2014 documentary of the same name from director Tiller Russell and producer Eli Holzman. That film centered around a corrupt NYPD precinct in the ’80s and its ringleader Michael Dowd, who was arrested in 1992 with a handful of other dirty cops who stole money and drugs. He served 14 years in prison, and his arrest exposed widespread corruption among the New York police force.
Sony initially won the narrative remake rights to The Seven Five back in December 2014, and the studio moved quickly to attach Yann Demange (White Boy Rick) to direct, while Scott Frank (The Queen’s Gambit) was initially eyed to write the script, though he ultimately proved to be too busy. Current MGM boss Michael De Luca was Sony‘s president of production at the time, and clearly he hasn’t forgotten about this project, which he recently acquired out of turnaround from Sony.
I’ve actually been tracking Stiller‘s involvement since June 2019, as I’d heard he was working on a new draft of the Seven Five script with Tony McNamara (The Favourite). It’s unclear whether Stiller and his Red Hour banner will produce The Seven Five, but when the project was at Sony, producers John Lesher (Birdman) and Megan Ellison (Foxcatcher) were calling the shots with Holzman, and I would imagine they’re still involved given how much time they’ve already put into this project.
Last summer, I heard Aaron Taylor-Johnson was in the mix to play Dowd, and more recently, Nicholas Hoult‘s name surfaced in connection with the role, but sources say no one is attached at the moment, as casting has yet to officially start.
Stiller recently teamed up with Protege Pictures and Radar Pictures to produce a movie about Bernard King, based on the former NBA star’s memoir Game Face: A Lifetime of Hard-Earned Lessons On and Off the Basketball Court. He’s also preparing to direct the Apple TV+ series Severance starring Patricia Arquette, Adam Scott, John Turturro and Christopher Walken.
Stiller recently executive produced the illegal coupon comedy Queenpins starring Kristen Bell and Vince Vaughn, as well as an upcoming documentary about famed writer Budd Schulberg. As an actor, he’ll soon be seen alongside Anne Hathaway in Doug Liman‘s pandemic-themed heist comedy Lockdown, and you can click here to read more about that project, which was recently acquired by HBO Max. Stiller is represented by WME and 3 Arts Entertainment.