The Russo brothers, the prolific directing duo behind Avengers: Infinity War, have lined up their next directing gig. Joe Russo and Anthony Russo are now in an exclusive negotiation for the rights to the novel Cherry, which was only recently published and comes from first-time author Nico Walker. Despite that, the book was subject to something of a bidding war. The Russos came out on top, on behalf of their new production company AGBO.
Joe Russo and Anthony Russo are currently in the process of putting the finishing touches on Avengers 4, which was shot back-to-back with Infinity War and is set for release next summer. After that, they'll be free to tackle something else and they've set their sights on Cherry. The novel comes from Nico Walker, who is a former Army medic that returned from Iraq with severe undiagnosed PTSD. He then fell into opioid addiction and began robbing banks, ultimately getting arrested in 2011. Walker is currently in prison and is scheduled to be released in 2020. Here's an official synopsis for the novel.
"It's 2003, and as a college freshman in Cleveland, our narrator is adrift until he meets Emily. The two of them experience an instant, life-changing connection. But when he almost loses her, he chooses to make an indelible statement: he joins the Army. The outcome will not be good for either of them. As a medic in Iraq, he is unprepared for the realities that await him. He and his fellow soldiers huff computer duster, abuse painkillers, and watch porn. Many of them die. When he comes home, his PTSD is profound. As the opioid crisis sweeps through the Midwest, it drags both him and Emily along with it. As their addictions worsen, and with their money drying up, he stumbles onto what seems like the only possible solution, robbing banks."
The book is a work of fiction but is based on Nico Walker's experiences. Joe Russo and Anthony Russo beat out several other major bidders for the project. The bidding process was complex, as Walker only had so many minutes he was allowed to be on the phone while in prison. Warner Bros. put in an offer, with The Disaster Artist's James Franco attached to direct and John Pollono (Stronger) set to pen the adaptation. Endeavor Content made a bid on behalf of Red Wagon and Sony bid with no talent attached. Their bid included less of an advance, but could have potentially exceeded the advance that AGBO has put forth. The Russo's company has committed $1 million up front for the rights.
Jessica Goldberg is set to pen the adaptation for the Russo brothers. She previously worked on Hulu's The Path and is also adapting the novel Exit West for AGBO. Joe and Anthony Russo do have an eye to direct Cherry, but it will probably have to wait until their Avengers 4 commitments are over with, which means May 2019 at the earliest. But that should give Goldberg plenty of time to get the script where it needs to be. This news comes to from Deadline.