Kathryn Bigelow, Tom Hardy Tackling Adaptation of 'True American' Book

 AP Images/Invision

Megan Ellison's Annapurna Pictures has come out on top of a heated bidding war to pick up the screen rights to The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas by Anand Giridharadas, in a package that sees Kathryn Bigelow on board to direct and produce.

Tom Hardy also is attached to star in what is planned to be a searing drama of loss and redemption.

True American hit the studios and movie companies mid-last week and by Friday started to generate considerable heat, with offers coming from Warner Bros., New Regency and other companies. CAA packaged the project and divided it up for top producers and directors.

The deal now reteams Annapurna with Bigelow, who directed Zero Dark Thirty, the 2012 Oscar-nominated drama that the company produced and financed. Ellison will produce with Bigelow. Annapurna’s Matthew Budman, who co-produced Zero Dark Thirty, will executive produce.

No writer is attached at this stage.

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The book, which hit stores May 5, does not have the easiest topic to sell to studios -- which would much rather see packages with capes or creatures -- but it is compelling and has attracted top talent.

It tells the true story of Rais Uddin Bhuiyan, a Bangladeshi who had recently immigrated to the U.S. and was working in a mini-mart when 9/11 happened. In the days after the terror attacks, Mark Stroman, going on what he considered a patriotic spree, shot Bhuiyan and workers at other gas stations. Two other victims died but Buiyan lived. Stroman, meanwhile, got the death penalty.

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Ten years later, in an effort to find healing, Bhuiyan wrestled a series of obstacles in order to meet his shooter and publicly forgive him. He then fought the state and the governor to have Stroman’s life spared.

Hardy is currently onscreen with Locke, the well-reviewed Steven Knight drama in which he is in a car during the entire movie. He has several movies in the can, including the crime thriller Child 44 and Mad Max: Fury Road.

He is repped by CAA, Sloane Offer and United Agents. Bigelow is repped by CAA and Kinsella Weitzman.

CAA also reps Bhuiyan and Giridharadas. Anand is additionally repped by Katherine Flynn at Kneerim Williams and Bloom

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