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Notorious German director Uwe Boll (Postal, Rampage) is poised to make his return to international filmmaking with a $25 million movie on crime fighter Eliot Ness, the special agent who famously took down Al Capone, a story told in Brian de Palma’s The Untouchables (1987).
Boll’s film, Ness, will pick up the story later in Eliot Ness’ career, as he tries to catch a serial killer known as “The Butcher of Kingsbury Run,” responsible for a number of grisly murders in Cleveland’s Kingsbury Run shantytown. Whitney Scott Bain wrote the screenplay, basing the story on the true-life case. Boll plans to direct and produce through his Event Film shingle, with Michael Roesch executive producing. Boll said he is currently casting the film and plans to begin principal photography in 2023.
Boll, who critics have lambasted as “Germany’s answer to Ed Wood,” made his last U.S. film in 2016, the sequel Rampage: President Down. In the interim, he opened Bauhaus, a high-end German restaurant in Vancouver. The restaurant got great reviews, unlike many of Boll’s films (in 2009, the Razzies gave Boll a rare worst career achievement award), but Boll has since shut it down. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Boll said he wasn’t worried about the critical response to his return to filmmaking.
“People who say they hate my movies have mostly seen one, maybe two films, maybe [flops] Far Cry or Alone in the Dark,” Boll noted. “They don’t mention my more political films [like] Rampage, Assault on Wall Street or Attack on Darfur… Netflix has something like 15-20 of my films. [I’m] a real filmmaker, I’ve made 34 movies, many with big stars, that can no longer be denied.”
Last year, Boll made the German-language Hanau, about a real-life mass shooting, but said the experience “made me remember why I stopped making movies in Germany.” He is, however, working on a documentary series on the notorious Banditos motorcycle gang that is at the center of a major criminal court case in Germany.
In the past, Boll’s harshest critics have been video game fans, who were enraged by his loose adaptations of popular video games, including House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark, BloodRayne and Postal. In response, Boll challenged his critics to face him in the boxing ring, which five of them did. In 2006, in an event dubbed “Raging Boll,” the director fought, and beat, all five critics.
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