After amassing an array of directing credits on music videos, commercials and documentaries in the vein of Great Wide Open, Into The Wild and Beyond the Horizon, Jared Leto is now poised to take the reins on his first feature film.
It’s called 77, a brutal hostage thriller adapted from James Ellroy’s novel of the same name. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount has appointed screenwriter David Matthews (Narcos) to hash out a script, with Dick Wolf and Tony Ganz of Wolf Films on board to produce. Much like his involvement in the aforementioned doc Into the Wild, Leto will also hold a producing role on the project.
Set against the politically volatile landscape of 1974 Los Angeles, 77 tells the story of “two police officers who team up to recover kidnapped heiress Patty Hearst while simultaneously investigating the brutal murder of a fellow officer. They uncover not only relentless corruption and crime, but a dark and violent conspiracy as well.”
It’s dark and brooding material for Leto to take on, but had things panned out differently, Russel Crowe would have been the one to shepherd 77 onto the big screen. Back in 2011, the Aussie was tipped to direct and star in an adaptation of Ellroy’s nervy page-turner before Man of Steel came calling. Speaking of the DC Extended Universe, it’ll be interesting to discover how 77 impacts Jared Leto’s potential commitment to Suicide Squad 2 – if at all.
The anti-hero sequel sprang into life over at Warner Bros. just yesterday, with reports confirming that the studio is courting Mel Gibson to direct. Other filmmakers also in contention include Ruben Fleischer, Jonathan Levine, and Daniel Espinosa, but we understand the Oscar-nominated Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge) has been earmarked as first choice by the Powers That Be. More on that story as it unfolds.
Leto, meanwhile, has also lined up Blade Runner 2049, which is expected to open October 6th.