Frank Darabont Becoming a Law Abiding Citizen Next
by Alex Billington
May 20, 2008
After impressing everyone again last year with The Mist, director Frank Darabont is already gearing up for his next film. Titled Law Abiding Citizen, the story centers on a criminal mastermind who controls a city from the confines of his prison cell. Screen Daily reports that the film is currently selling its international rights in Cannes and is already slated to start shooting on August 18th in Detroit. This means Darabont's adaptation of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 has put on hold at least until 2009, which seemed to be where it was headed when the project suffered the loss of Tom Hanks. As for Law Abiding Citizen, Gerard Butler has already been cast as the prosecutor who stands in the way of the criminal's control.
The original screenplay for Law Abiding Citizen was written by Kurt Wimmer, of Sphere, Equilibrium, The Recruit, and Street Kings. The project is said to be budgeted in the low $40 million range, which is well above the $18 million that it cost to make The Mist. Lucas Foster (Man on Fire, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Street Kings) and Alan Siegel are producing.
I'm always appreciative of anything Gerard Butler is cast in, but what this film will really come down to is who gets cast as the criminal. If Darabont doesn't secure an absolutely brilliant actor that can hold his own far better than Butler, then unfortunately this won't succeed. Even Thomas Jane from The Mist won't due, it really needs to be someone up there on the same level as Anthony Hopkins. I really love the idea for this, I'm just concerned that Darabont won't due the greatest job. However, he did make The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, two other incredible prison films, so maybe I'm just jumping the gun? Is Frank Darabont the right one to direct this film?