If you happened to catch MSNBC's All In with Chris Hayes last night, a segment he ran featured the story of Rais Bhuiyan, a Bangladeshi American military veteran who was shot in the face by Mark Stroman in the days following 9/11. Stroman was swept up in the anti-Muslim hysteria and sought ought to kill anybody he perceived as an Arab. Stroman killed two other people that day but Bhuiyan survived, and a decade later he came appealed to have Stroman saved from the death penalty. That remarkable story is now being brought to the big screen, placed in the capable hands of Oscar winning director Kathryn Bigelow, Tom Hardy, and Annapurna Pictures.
Bigelow will direct and produce The True American, which is also the title of journalist
Anand Giridharadas' book on the subject. Hardy will star, possibly as Stroman, the Texas man who referred to himself as the "American Terrorist". This will be a reteaming of Bigelow and Annapurna Pictures, the studio previously producing Zero Dark Thirty.
Bhuiyan's story has been all over the news of late due to the renewed controversy over the death penalty, so count this as another timely effort from Bigelow that's sure to make some waves.
Check out the video of Giridharadas on Chris Hayes' show, along with the official press release.
Annapurna’s Megan Ellison, who previously worked with Bigelow as a producer on ZERO DARK THIRTY, is set to produce. Annapurna’s Matthew Budman, who co-produced ZERO DARK THIRTY, will serve as Executive Producer.
THE TRUE AMERICAN meticulously reconstructs two lives that collided in horrific fashion. In the charged, angry days after 9/11, self-styled “American Terrorist” Mark Stroman murdered two immigrants in Texas, while a third man survived being shot in the head during Stroman’s spree: Raisuddin Bhuiyan, a Bangladesh Air Force veteran, was working at a Dallas-area convenience store as he established himself in America.
With Stroman identified and apprehended, the tale begins its tack toward deeper emotional waters. THE TRUE AMERICAN is a richly detailed, affecting account of two men bound, as it turns out, by more than just an act of violence.
The deal was brokered by Annapurna’s Paul Hanson and Christopher Corabi with CAA, which represents Rais Uddin Bhuiyan and Anand Giridharadas, as well as Bigelow and Hardy. Anand is represented for publishing by Katherine Flynn at Kneerim Williams and Bloom. Bigelow’s attorney is Warren Dern of Sloane Offer Weber & Dern; Hardy is represented by Lindy King at United Agents in the U.K. and attorney Jason Sloane of Sloane Offer Weber & Dern.