Austin Butler to star in Winslow franchise at Sony

The Oscar nominee inks his first deal since Elvis

Warner Bros

Oscar nominee Austin Butler (Elvis, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood) is set to star in City on Fire, Sony’s adaptation of the Don Winslow novel.

As City on Fire is first title in a novel trilogy, the studio hopes Butler will return to play the role in subsequent sequels. The books take elements of The Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneid and Greek tragic dramas and places them in a world of contemporary crime.

Says Deadline, who have the scoop, “the trilogy focuses on two criminal empires — one Irish, the other Italian — that control all of New England. A modern-day Helen of Troy event tears them apart and starts a brutal war. Butler will play the main character, Danny Ryan, forced to grow from a street soldier into a ruthless leader to protect his friends, his family and the home he loves. Fighting the Mafia, the local cops and the feds, Danny intends to build a dynasty or die trying.”

3000 Pictures exec Drew Reed was instrumental in tracking the series, and Elizabeth Gabler and Marisa Paiva are overseeing for the studio.

Said 3000 head Gabler: “We are elated that venerable producer David Heyman, alongside Austin Butler, will join forces with Shane Salerno to make Don Winslow’s spectacular trilogy, starting with City on Fire. Don is an iconic novelist and a true master of the genre of suspenseful crime fiction and has created one of the most memorable modern-day heroes in Danny Ryan, the complex and compelling protagonist of this trilogy. It is a dream come true to envision Austin, with his uniquely brilliant and charismatic talent, bringing this character and story to cinematic life.”

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