Vince Vaughn is going to prison.
The actor, who made his mark with comedies such as Wedding Crashers and Swingers, is continuing his recent dramatic wave by signing on to star in Brawl in Cell Block 99, a brutal action thriller from Caliber Media and XYZ Films.
The movie hails from writer-director S. Craig Zahler and is serving as his follow-up to Bone Tomahawk, the cannibal Western that proved to be a commercial and critical indie hit last year, even snagging two Independent Spirit Award nominations.
Zahler’s script centers on a former boxer (Vaughn) whose life is crumbling: He loses his job as an auto mechanic and his troubled marriage is about to expire. At this crossroads in his life, he feels that he has no better option than to work for an old buddy as a drug courier. This vocation improves his situation until the day he finds himself in a gunfight between a group of police officers and his own ruthless allies. When the smoke clears, the man finds himself in prison in a no-win situation as his enemies force him to commit acts of violence that turn the place into a savage battleground.
The film is set to begin production at the end of the summer.
Brawl will be produced by Caliber Media’s Dallas Sonnier and Jack Heller, the same producing team that worked with Zahler on Bone Tomahawk.
XYZ Films is executive producing and will also handle worldwide sales on the film, which will begin at the upcoming Marche du Film in Cannes. WME Global will rep North American rights.
Vaughn has been on a more dramatic streak of late. He starred in season two of HBO’s gritty crime drama True Detective and recently wrapped production on Mel Gibson’s World War II true-life drama Hacksaw Ridge.
Bone Tomahawk starred Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox and Richard Jenkins. The movie, released last year, earned Zahler an Indie Spirit nomination for best screenwriting and Jenkins a best supporting actor mention. It also won critics’ choice for best picture at the Sitges International Film Festival.
XYZ is producing and handling the sales of several titles, including the action thriller Pilgrimage, starring Jon Bernthal and Tom Holland, among them.
Vaughn is repped by WME Entertainment and Jackoway Tyerman; Zahler is with UTA, Caliber Media and Ziffren Brittenham.