A few years ago, one of the projects that Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal were circling was “The True American,” which sounded perfect for the duo. At first, it was meant to star Tom Hardy in one of the central roles, but that never got off the ground. Then, Bigelow and Boal departed, but Hardy stayed on, this time with “Jackie” helmer Pablo Larrain set to be behind the camera. Now, a cast has come together for Larrain, but without Hardy on board. Fear not, however, as this is still going to be an A-list affair. In fact, it might even be more Oscar friendly now.

Variety reports that Amy Adams is joining “The True American” cast, coming hot on the heels of Kumail Nanjiani and Mark Ruffalo signing on to star. The film tells the story of Muslim immigrant Rais Bhuiyan, who survived a brutal attack in the days after 9/11. Despite the self professed hatred spewed by attacker Mark Stroman, Bhuiyan would crusade for Stroman to be spared the death penalty. Nanjiani will play the former, while Ruffalo replaces Hardy as the latter. No word yet on who Adams would play.

Here is the Amazon synopsis for “The True American”:

The True American tells the story of Raisuddin Bhuiyan, a Bangladesh Air Force officer who dreams of immigrating to America and working in technology. But days after 9/11, an avowed “American terrorist” named Mark Stroman, seeking revenge, walks into the Dallas minimart where Bhuiyan has found temporary work and shoots him, maiming and nearly killing him. Two other victims, at other gas stations, aren’t so lucky, dying at once.

The True American traces the making of these two men, Stroman and Bhuiyan, and of their fateful encounter. It follows them as they rebuild shattered lives―one striving on Death Row to become a better man, the other to heal and pull himself up from the lowest rung on the ladder of an unfamiliar country.

Ten years after the shooting, an Islamic pilgrimage seeds in Bhuiyan a strange idea: if he is ever to be whole, he must reenter Stroman’s life. He longs to confront Stroman and speak to him face to face about the attack that changed their lives. Bhuiyan publicly forgives Stroman, in the name of his religion and its notion of mercy. Then he wages a legal and public-relations campaign, against the State of Texas and Governor Rick Perry, to have his attacker spared from the death penalty.

Ranging from Texas’s juvenile justice system to the swirling crowd of pilgrims at the Hajj in Mecca; from a biker bar to an immigrant mosque in Dallas; from young military cadets in Bangladesh to elite paratroopers in Israel; from a wealthy household of chicken importers in Karachi, Pakistan, to the sober residences of Brownwood, Texas, The True American is a rich, colorful, profoundly moving exploration of the American dream in its many dimensions. Ultimately it tells a story about our love-hate relationship with immigrants, about the encounter of Islam and the West, about how―or whether―we choose what we become.

Both Adams and Ruffalo are overdue to become Academy Award winners, so their casting here is very promising. As for Nanjiani, a chance to show his range will help make him an even bigger star than he’s already becoming. This trio is about as strong as you can ask for. Throw in the exciting filmmaker that Larrain is, and this has the makings of something pretty special.

Amazon Studios is set to handle this one, so look out for “The True American” likely at some point in 2019. With this group set, this could really be an Academy player to watch out for.

Thoughts? Discuss in the comments!


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