Acclaimed Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín is set to direct his upcoming film “The True American,” based on a Bangladesh Air Force officer’s actual accounts, starring the ‘Hulk’ star Mark Ruffalo and Kumail Nanjiani from “The Big Sick.” The project is being produced by Oscar Winning director Kathryn Bigelow and backed by Annapurna Pictures, the studio behind many Academy Award winning films like “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Her.”
The film is based on the non-fiction book, “The True American: Murder and Mercy In Texas,” written by Anand Giridharadas, which revolves around the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It will tell the story of Rais Bhuiyan, a Muslim immigrant and Bangladesh Air Force veteran, played by Nanjiani, who barely escapes a killing spree (that leaves two others dead) perpetrated by Mark Stroman, the self-proclaimed “Arab-slayer,” played by Ruffalo.
Bhuiyan, the Bangladeshi native, however tries to save his attacker from the death penalty. He decides to seek out his attacker and grant him forgiveness, while starting a campaign against the death penalty in their state.
According to a recent report published by Empire, the project has already created a buzz in Hollywood for having massive potentials and currently being taken to the next steps to becoming a reality.
Bigelow, producer of “The True American,” previously lined up Tom Hardy and Riz Ahmed for the lead roles. Larraín took it over last year and is locking his chosen cast.
On the other hand, Ruffalo returns as Dr. Bruce Banner (Hulk) in “Avengers: Infinity War,” slated to be released on April 26. Nanjiani is currently working on the latest season of “Silicon Valley,” which kicks off this week.
“The True American” will begin production depending on the availability of its supposed stars. According to another recent report by Screen Rant, Nanjiani’s schedule is clear for now, though Ruffalo is allegedly in line to play Don Hewitt in this fall’s “Newsflash,” set for a November release, after he completes the press tour for “Avengers: Infinity War.” Annapurna Pictures is hopeful that they can start production as soon as Ruffalo’s schedule clears up.
Rais Bhuiyan, the Bangladesh Air Force officer the film is based on, was a student of Sylhet Cadet College who later on went to New York City to study computer technology. After the September 11 terror attacks, Mark Anthony Stroman shot Bhuiyan, attempting to kill him as he was a Muslim. Bhuiyan survived, but lost sight in one of his eyes. Bhuiyan gained media attention after revealing that he would appeal to the court to save Stroman, his shooter, from the death penalty. Later on he started a movement named “World Without Hate” to prevent hate crimes through education and worked with Amnesty International.