It was announced today that Four-time Oscar-nominated actor Ethan Hawke has signed on the New Orleans-set heist movie Cut Throat City, directed by RZA (of the Wu Tang Clan). The film also stars Terrence Howard, Wesley Snipes, Eiza González, Kat Graham, Tip "T.I." Harris, Joel David Moore, Isiah Washington, Keean Johnson, Sam Daly, Denzel Whitaker, Rob Morgan, Rich Paul, Demetrius Shipp Jr. and Shameik Moore. Well Go USA preemptively acquired North American rights earlier this year for the picture for a nationwide theatrical release in 2019. XYZ Films is handling international sales.

Cut Throat City is produced by Elliott Michael Smith and Sean Lydiard of Rumble Riot Pictures. Michael Mendelsohn (Patriot Pictures and Union Patriot Capital Management), William Clevinger, Kyle Tekiela, and RZA, with P.G. Cuscheri writing the original screenplay. Natalie Perrotta Jon Levin, Roger Goff, and Jim Steele are Executive Producing and Jarod Einsohn is co-producing. The film was fully financed by Mendelsohn's Union Patriot Capital Management.

RELATED: RZA's Cut Throat City Trailer Plans a Hurricane Katrina Heist

When four boyhood friends return to New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward after Hurricane Katrina, they find their home decimated and prospects for work swept away. Turning to a local gangster for employment, the crew is hired to pull off a daring casino heist, right in the heart of the city. But when the heist goes awry, the boys are forced on a dangerous crime spree, fighting for their survival while both hunted by the warlord and two idealistic detectives.

Hawke will play Jackson Symms, a highly respected city councilman and retired NOLA deputy chief. Practical, worldly, ruggedly handsome with a face weathered in character - Jackson has a keen sense of the less fortunate community members who he serves. The 9th Ward is his district. Jackson is pained by the death, property damage, and family despair Hurricane Katrina has caused - specifically it reminds him of the loss of his beloved wife - whom Demyra helped take care of as a hospice nurse.

Hawke's film credits include  Juliet, Naked, Maudie, Born to Blue, Boyhood, which earned him multiple award nominations, including the Academy, BAFTA, Golden Globe, and SAG Award for Best Supporting Actor, The Before Trilogy, Training Day and Gattaca. Hawke's performance in Paul Schrader's First Reformed earned him the 2018 Gotham Award and 2018 New York Film Critics Award for Best Actor, as well as a nomination for Best Male Lead at the upcoming 2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards.

Rumble Riot Pictures is a full service T.V. and Film production company who most recent credits can be found on the Sony/Crackle original Office Uprising directed by LinOeding. Next on the docket for Rumble Riot Pictures is Art of the Crime to be directed by Dennis Gansel (Mechanic Resurrection).

XYZ Films is an integrated content company whose mission is to empower visionary storytellers from every corner of the planet. As an independent production company and worldwide sales agency, the company is uniquely suited to identify talented filmmakers and bring their stories to life. XYZ was founded in 2008 by Nate Bolotin, Nick Spicer, and Aram Tertzakian. XYZ recently won the 2017 Sundance Grand Jury Prize for Macon Blair's {I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore.