'Never Let Me Go' Director to Helm Bank Robbery Thriller 'Norco'

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Mark Romanek

Marc Butan's MadRiver will produce the action project.

Mark Romanek is lining up a bank job.

The director of the 2010 novel adaptation Never Let Me Go is in final talks to helm Norco, a thriller based on the true story of a bank robbery and manhunt in California in 1980. Adair Cole wrote the script.

The Norco shootout is considered one of the most violent police chases in American history and began with five robbers hitting a bank in North Corona. In the ensuing chase, they destroyed over 30 police vehicles and forced the landing of a police helicopter with firearms and homemade pipe bombs.

Marc Butan's MadRiver Pictures will produce and finance the film. The former co-president of Sierra/Affinity launched MadRiver at Cannes this year with plans to produce and finance 3-4 films per year. In addition to Norco, the company's current slate includes the Liam Neeson terrorist thriller A Willing Patriot, the cop drama Triple 9 with Chiwetel Ejiofor and Kate Winslet, the adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and The Lost City of Z with Charlie Hunnam.

Mason Novick will produce Norco with Butan, with Edward Fee executive producing and Michelle Knudsen co-producing.

"Adair wrote a script that tells this story with a raw, almost matter-of-fact intensity that makes you feel like you are there. Adding Mark to the mix brings it all home, as he is one of the few filmmakers out there who provides the visual style this piece calls for but also gets the performances from actor," said Butan in a statement.

Romanek directed Andrew Garfield, Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightley in Never Let Me Go, the adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's science-fiction novel. He's attached to direct Overlook Hotel, Warner Bros.' prequel to The Shining, and was set to helm Disney's Cinderella but exited the project, which Kenneth Branagh eventually directed. He's repped by CAA and LBI.