A project I profiled last August is now pushing ahead, and some new info about it has surfaced… Forest Whitaker teaming with Oscar-nominated Algerian filmmaker Rachid Bouchareb to star in one of a trilogy of English-language films that will explore the complex relationship between the west and the Arab world.
“The questions I’m asking in my movies here in America are ‘Where are we?’ and ‘Where are we going?’ and ‘Why do we need to have hope in this relationship?’” the director of Hors la Loi (Outside the Law), his most recent work, and London River before that (both films we’ve covered on S&A) said.
Whitaker will play a Muslim released from prison into a small town in the Southwest USA, that’s seething with anti-Muslim sentiment.
I can now tell you that it’ll be titled Bill’s Law and is based on a 1973 French psychological drama titled Deux Hommes Dans La Ville (Two Men In Town) by Jose Giovanni. That film centerd on an ex-safe cracker, just out of prison, who finds honest work and a new love, and wants to go on the straight and narrow; but attempts by his ex-gang to lure him back into his former life, as well as the the determination of a vengeful cop who stalks him, nearly push him over the edge.
Director Bouchareb will transfer the action and drama from 1970s France to present-day USA – specifically a small town in Arizona, near the Mexican border, and, as already noted, the film will touch on American anti-Arab paranoia.
The project is budgeted at $20 million and pre-production is scheduled to begin this spring, with principal photography scheduled for the fall.
Given what I know of the work and abilities of both gentlemen, I’d say this should be something to watch for likely in 2013.