I might not be the biggest fan of prison movies (well, except Cool Hand Luke), but anything that could keep Francis Lawrence busy and away from an I Am Legend prequel is all right by me. The Hollywood Reporterannounced that Lawrence has just signed to helm the story of the 1987 Atlanta Prison Riots for Warner Brothers. Black Hawk Down writer Mark Bowden came across the still-untitled project while researching Black Hawk, but did not have the time or resources to devote to the story. So here we are eight years later, and Bowden has enlisted the help of his brother, Aaron, to produce the film under the Wild Eyes banner.

For those of you who are a little fuzzy on their penal history, here's a primer on what Lawrence will be working with: In 1987, the Atlanta State Medium Security Prison was one of the dumping grounds for Cuban refugees from the Mariel Boatlift who were ineligible to be released. When Cuba later agreed to repatriate 2500 inmates currently being held -- well, to be blunt, all holy hell broke loose. The ensuing riot lasted over 10 days with more than 100 hostages involved -- heck, inmates even burned down a substantial portion of the facility itself. In the end, it took the intervention of the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta to end the siege. Sounds pretty exciting, doesn't it?

But the bad news is that before Lawrence can get to work in the big house, he still has to finish developing Sara Gruen's historical novel, Water for Elephants for Fox 2000. Now if we could just do something about that Legend prequel ...
categories Movies, Cinematical