Hot off his eye-catching role opposite Forest Whitaker in the star-stuffed biopic Lee Daniels' The Butler, David Oyelowo has snagged the lead in another drama based on a shocking true story, though this one is admittedly less epic in scale. THR reports Oyelowo and Kate Mara have signed on to topline a thriller called Captive, which is based on a gruesome crime spree turned hostage situation that occurred in Atlanta, Georgia in the spring of 2005.

At the time, thirty-three-year-old Brian Nichols was at the Fulton County courthouse awaiting trial for a rape case, when he broke free. In his bid for escape, Nichols murdered four people including the judge presiding over his case, a court reporter, a sheriff's deputy, and later a FBI agent. A massive manhunt was immediately put into effect for the metropolitan Atlanta area, with a reward of $65,000 offered for information that could lead to Nichols' capture. Still 26 hours passed before the alleged rapist and killer was recovered. In the meantime, he committed 54 crimes which included the aforementioned murders as well as carjackings, robbery, and kidnapping. As you may have guessed from the movie's title, the last of these will be the main focus of Captive.

See, the majority of Nichols time as an escaped convict was spent hiding in the apartment of a methamphetamine-addicted single-mother named Ashley Smith. During their tense time together, Smith tried several methods to calm her captor. She gave him some meth, and then began to read to Nichols about a book she thought he might appreciate, Rick Warren's best-selling devotional tome The Purpose Driven Life. This proved a turning point for both people, and this experience eventually became the centerpiece of the book Smith later wrote, titled Unlikely Angel: The Untold Story of the Atlanta Hostage Hero.

Oyelowo is set to play Nichols, while Mara will portray Smith. Leonor Valera and Mimi Rogers will co-star. Brian Bird and Reinhard Denke wrote the adapted screenplay, and TV helmer Jerry Jameson (Walker, Texas Ranger and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman) will direct. BN Films, the recently formed production company behind Words with Gods and the recently wrapped Nightingale which also stars Oyelowo, will produce Captive. Principal photography is slated to begin by the end of October.

While those curious wait for Captive's eventual release, they can still catch Oyelowo in Lee Daniels' The Butler, which is still in theaters, or check out Mara in House of Cards, which is streaming on Netflix. Bigger projects for both will be coming out in 2014. With Oyelowo appearing in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy follow-up Interstellar, and Mara playing opposite Johnny Depp in the directorial debut of Nolan's director of photography Wally Pfister, Transcendence. Both of which might help boost the notice of their eventual collaboration, Captive.

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