There’s big news this weekend from Deadline with word that Sony Pictures beat out four other studios contending for action pitch, Booker. The deal concluded on Saturday following breaking news on Friday evening as talks were underway.
Gerard McMurray is the prime choice to direct Booker, and from a script he will no less co-write with John Wick franchise scribe, Derek Kolstad. Speaking of, Booker is being described in itself as “a John Wick-esque hard boiled action film with an African American male lead”, according to the trade.
If there’s one director who has earned his stripes for this kind of project, it’s McMurray, seeing as he’s provenly made the case. He served as an associate producer on Ryan Coogler’s compelling 2011 drama, Fruitvale Station, and offered up his own heralded debut with the chilling fraternity drama, Burning Sands.
In 2018, McMurray placed actor Y’lan Noel at the forefront for action stardom with The First Purge, an explosive prequel continuation of Blumhouse’s hit trilogy about a dystopian version of America in which citizens are legally allowed to commit most crimes for a single night every year. McMurray’s prequel saw Noel and actress Lex Scott Davis as residents in a predominantly black Staten Island neighborhood that becomes ground zero for “the experiment”, only to uncover an even deadlier government conspiracy.
The film, one in a series of the studio’s usual low/modestly-budgeted productions, squared away with ten times its budget at the box office. To date, McMurray is also tapped to reunite with Fruitvale Station actor Michael B. Jordan as of last month for an adaptation of The Silver Bear from a script by Cold Pursuit scribe Frank Baldwin.