Donnie Darko Director Richard Kelly To Helm Legal Thriller Amicus With Nicolas Cage
Richard Kelly hasn’t had the career that everyone expected him to have after his amazing 2001 film Donnie Darko. After waiting five years between films he wrote and directed Southland Tales, which not only got eviscerated by critics, but barely got a release, never making it into more than 63 theaters. Rebounding from that, he moved to more mainstream material in 2009, directing an adaptation of the Richard Matheson story “Button, Button” called The Box, which was better received than his previous effort, but still barely managed to make back its budget in global box office receipts. We’re still waiting for Kelly to live up to the potential that he showed with his debut feature, and perhaps his most recently announced project will allow him to do just that.
Variety reports that Kelly has signed on to write, direct and produce the true crime thriller Amicus, and has already landed Nicolas Cage to star. The film will tell the story of Lawrence Horn, a former executive in the music industry who hired a hitman named James Perry to kill his “his wife, quadriplegic son and the wealthy family's overnight nurse at their suburban home in Silver Spring, Maryland.” Horn was motivated to set up the crime because his son had been the victim of medical malpractice and won a $2 million trust that Horn couldn’t collect on unless his son was dead (aka this guy was a true blue dirt bag).
But the story only gets stranger. Apparently Perry read a how-to book titled “Hit Man: A Technical Manual for Independent Contractors” in order to plan and execute the murder. After learning this, the victims’ families decided to file a lawsuit against Paladin Press, the company that published the book and hired Rodney Smolla, “one of the most influential First Amendment scholars,” to work on the case. Cage will reportedly play the role of Smolla.
Where the project will fit into Kelly’s schedule, however, is still a question. Earlier this year it was reported that the filmmaker was going to make the thriller Corpus Christi, but according to Variety that project fell apart because “the cast never came together.” It’s unclear from the report if Kelly is still planning to make Corpus Christie next or if he will simply move on to Amicus.
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