Sony Pictures' A Prophet remake may finally be moving forward, despite practically no activity on the project since director Sam Raimi came aboard back in January 2016. Today we have word that the studio is still hoping to start production sometime this year, and a new report claims the director has reached out to Michael B. Jordan to play the lead role of Marcos Colon, with Josh Brolin being eyed to portray Cesar. Those roles were portrayed by Tahar Rahim and Niels Arestrup in the original film from Jacques Audiard, although the Marcos Colon role was named Malik El Djebena.
That Hashtag Show broke the news today, revealing that director Sam Raimi is hoping to start production by the end of this year, so even if Michael B. Jordan or Josh Brolin don't fill those roles, we certainly may hear more about casting soon. This project has been in the works for quite some time, with celebrated author and screenwriter Dennis Lehane penning the script way back in 2013. It remains unclear if his draft is still being used, or if there were other writers brought in over the pas few years.
The original film followed an impressionable and vulnerable Arabic man who gets thrust into a hellish prison, and ironically discovers greater opportunities for success than he ever possessed outside of the bars. Malik El Djebena was a petty criminal incarcerated for six years, who is quickly educated in the "ways" of the prison, an institution torn violently between gangs of Corsicans and Arabs. The head Corsican thug, César Luciani (Niels Arestrup), offers Malik an ultimatum: either he rubs out an Arab inmate named Reyeb (Hichem Yacoubi), or he himself dies. Not only does Malik succeed with the hit, he earns the begrudging respect of the other prisoners, and, after securing several days' release for good behavior, uses off-time to forge a deeper and more multi-layered network of criminal ties than he ever dreamed possible. But as his own power and confidence grow, they threaten to outstrip César's own insistence on submission and obedience at all costs.
The original film received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, although it ultimately lost to The Secret In Their Eyes. It also won the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2009. Sony Pictures acquired the A Prophet remake rights back in 2013, although it's been quite slow going over the past four years. Now with Sam Raimi at the helm, it seems that this English-language remake will happen once and for all. Still, Sony hasn't revealed when production may begin yet and there is no release date in place.
Michael B. Jordan and Josh Brolin would certainly be interesting choices for both roles, especially since they both inhabit far different corners of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Josh Brolin made his MCU debut as the Mad Titan known as Thanos in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy, and he will try to destroy the world with his Infinity Gautnlet in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4. Michael B. Jordan will next be seen in the highly-anticipated Black Panther, and there is talk he will also be back for Creed 2 at some point in time.