Gerard Butler and Frank Grillo, the leading men of our dirtbag cinema dreams, are teaming up for the ultimate in B-movie action thrillers: a crime thriller directed by The Grey filmmaker Joe Carnahan titled Copshop.
Deadline reports that Butler and Grillo are set to lead Joe Carnahan’s action thriller Copshop, which takes place in a small-town police station that “becomes the unlikely battleground between a professional hitman (Butler), a smart rookie female cop, and a double-crossing con man (Grillo) who seeks refuge behind bars with no place left to run.” Casting for the female lead is underway.
Kurt McLeod wrote the original screenplay based on a story by McLeod and Mark Williams, but Carnahan wrote the most recent draft.
Butler playing a professional hitman who chases after Grillo’s double-crossing con man? It’s just the kind of gritty premise you’d expect from these B-movie kings. And pair them with Joe Carnahan, and you’ve got the pinnacle of vulgar auteurism. It sounds like I’m insulting this pairing, but I’m doing anything but that. Since pivoting away from being an A-list leading man, Butler has carved out a niche for himself in grimy thrillers like Den of Thieves and Greenland, which feel like B-movie action flicks that somehow made it to the big screen (in the best way). And Grillo, who broke out in the Hollywood mainstream with his turn as the villainous Crossbow in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, has used his gravelly charisma to become a mainstay of indie action movies and VOD thrillers, with memorable turns in The Purge movies.
Putting the two of them together, well it’s like a Power Rangers transformation, except they don’t turn into a giant mecha bot, they turn into a giant beer-guzzling, muscly and tattooed dirtbag cop and/or criminal.
Butler and Grillo probably know the effect this movie will have, which is likely why the pair are producing through their WarParty Films banner. Also producing are Mark Williams and Tai Duncan of Zero Gravity Management, Warren Goz and Eric Gold of Sculptor Media, and Alan Siegel’s G-BASE Productions. Executive producers are James Masciello, Matthew Sidari and Tom Ortenberg for Open Road.
“WarParty is beyond excited to be teaming with Raven, Open Road, STX and G-BASE on Copshop,” Butler and Grillo said in a statement. “We feel that this is a movie that can play big globally but be made sensibly and we are always looking for this type of ‘elevated genre’ where the writing really drives the action and the drama. We also couldn’t be happier to have someone with the box-office power of Gerard Butler as our partner in crime on this film.”
Principal photography is set to start in October with Copshop slated to shoot in Georgia and New Mexico. Open Road Films will release in the U.S. and STXinternational will shop to overseas buyers including at the upcoming Toronto Interational Film Festival. STX will also release directly in the UK and Ireland.
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