Nearly seven years after first being announced as a hot new television project to watch out for, Stanley Kubrick’s fact-based unproduced original screenplay “God Fearing Man” is finally set for the small screen. Variety reports that the new European media company Media Musketeers — formed earlier this year by former Warner Bros. executive Chris Law and former Apple executives Sebastien Janin and Andy Docherty — will produce a “high-end television drama” based on Kubrick’s screenplay. The project was initially announced in 2012 as an eOne series, and news remained scarce until Michael C. Hall signed on to star in the series in August of 2014, though this appears to be an all-new deal that will not feature Hall.
Following the exploits of Hebert Emerson Wilson, billed as “a Canadian church minister-turned-safecracker who became one of the most successful bank robbers in U.S. history,” the series will be based on both Wilson’s own writings and Kubrick’s screenplay. Wilson penned his own “criminal autobiography,” intriguingly titled “I Stole $16,000,000” in 1956, and it appeared to catch the filmmaker’s eye right away. Kubrick first started working on his script after the success of 1957’s “Paths of Glory,” though the Kubrick-centric book “Stanley Kubrick: Visual Poet 1928-1999” notes that “nothing came” of both the project and another he attempted to get off the ground after his war film breakout.
Per its Amazon synopsis, Wilson’s book chronicles “his long criminal career [during which] he knocked over enough banks and businesses to amass huge fortunes, all of which he lost, just about as fast has he gained them. … It’s a cautionary tale for those who consider the criminal life, but Wilson refrains from preaching. Instead he tells, in a matter of fact voice, how he became one of American history’s most notorious safecrackers. … It’s a story that deserves to be read and remembered by generations to come.”
Variety reports that Media Musketeers will collaborate with U.K. independent producer ForLan Films on the project, which has developed the story as a four-hour TV drama. Philip Hobbs, who served as co-producer on Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket,” will produce alongside ForLan’s Steve Lanning. Janin and Docherty will serve as executive producers.
“God Fearing Man” is expected to start production in 2020.