Looking to add to his schedule going into the fourth quarter with 2019 around the corner, Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther, upcoming Creed 2) has been tapped to star in The Silver Bear for Lionsgate. As Mike Fleming Jr. at Deadline reports, film rights to the book were nabbed last December by Nickel City Pictures whose Vishal Rungta, Ankur Rungta and Mark Fasano are producing with Jordan at Outlier Society.
Derek Haas, who co-penned Timur Bekmambetov’s Wanted and James Mangold’s 3:10 To Yuma, wrote the novel first published in 2008 by Pegasus, following up with the ensuing Assassin trilogy comprised of “Columbus” (2009) and “Dark Men” (2011). A partial description of the book’s narrative from Pegasus describes it as “The intense psychological portrait of a hitman—the anti-Jason Bourne—as he stalks his prey from Boston to LA. He wants you to know him, maybe even admire him, but only for his excellence in his craft. Perhaps he was even born for it.”
Fleming Jr. digs into the thick of the forthcoming adaptation describing Columbus as “an assassin who is so effective he becomes what Russian criminals call a silver bear: he never fails, and he seems immune to the stresses of his work. But he comes up against his own nightmarish origins when he takes on the job of killing the Speaker of the House, who is also a leading presidential candidate—and Columbus’ father.”
Frank Baldwin, the screenwriter behind The Godmother and Hans Petter Molland’s own successive remake offering at the helm for the Liam Neeson-led Hard Powder (title pending), is adapting the novel. Lionsgate is reportedly moving in on the IP as a potential franchise launch with Haas joined by Michael Garnett and Tobias Weymar in executive producing.
“We could not be more excited to work with Michael and Lionsgate,” Rungta said. “We have been huge fans of Michael all the way back to his days in ‘The Wire,’ and from our first meeting we knew that he was the perfect fit for the role of Columbus.
“’The Silver Bear’ is the kind of story that needs to be experienced on the big screen and Michael is the perfect movie star to inhabit the skin of this dynamic character and take us into the cinematic world of Columbus,” said Lionsgate Motion Picture Group chairman Joe Drake. “We’re incredibly honored that Michael and Nickel City chose Lionsgate to partner with in bringing this exciting property to life.”
The news comes on the heels of Jordan’s latest attachment to the Tom Clancy universe of action and espionage as John Clark in Without Remose, the first of two adaptations being overseen by Akiva Goldsman.