The film adapts Anand Giridharadas’ nonfiction book of the same name, which follows the story of Rais Bhuiyan, the Muslim immigrant and Bangladesh Air Force veteran who narrowly survived an attack in Texas on himself and two others by Mark Anthony Stroman, in the days following 9/11.
Stroman’s horrific hate crime saw him launch into a killing spree which targeted anyone he perceived as Arab; the book’s title deriving from Stroman’s self-styling of himself as “the Arab Slayer” who perversely saw himself as “a true American”.
The attack left both Pakistani immigrant Waqar Hasan and Indian immigrant Vasudev Patel dead; Stroman survived, though he lost sight in one of his eyes. Despite the horrors Bhuiyan lived through, he came to forgive Stroman and strived to prevent his execution.
The project, and Hardy’s attachment, has been floating around since 2014, with Kathryn Bigelow originally attached to direct; she will now produce the project alongside Megan Ellison, Matthew Budman, and Juan de Dios Larraín.
With Larraín’s Jackie having earned its star Natalie Portman an Oscar nomination for her depiction of the former First Lady in the immediate aftermath of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, it’s safe to say the director’s next project will be one to watch.