Michael B. Jordan is one of the hottest working actors in the business today. Everyone wants him for something, and although he’s still very young in his career, the Black Panther and Creed star is locking up projects left and right that allow him to be a prime member of the entire process of bringing a film to the big screen. It began with the reintroduction of the Rocky franchise, was followed by the upcoming Rainbow Six adaptation, and will now continue with his upcoming collaboration with Lionsgate for the action thriller The Silver Bear.
The studio announced today that The First Purge director Gerard McMurray has been hired to both write and direct The Silver Bear, which will star and be produced by Jordan. Many will not know, but Jordan and McMurray have a history together, as McMurray produced Ryan Coogler’s directorial debut Fruitvale Station, the film that shot Jordan into the spotlight. McMurray attached some comments to the news teasing the project and his team-up with Jordan after years apart:
“Fruitvale Station changed our lives. Six years later I’m reuniting with Michael in 2019 and directing him in one of the most exciting and intelligent kick-ass action projects Hollywood and Lionsgate has cooking. It’s beyond dreams,” said McMurray. “Michael is an amazing, one-of-a-kind talent. He will bring a chilling and unnerving edge, authenticity and precision to the character of Columbus. The Silver Bear is an incredible hunt-and-chase story about the most skilled and feared hitman in the underworld and I have a unique vision for how I want to bring that to life.”
This is a very exciting piece of news. On top of directing The First Purge, McMurray also helmed Burning Sands for Netflix, which is a very well made film. Both of his projects have been pretty low-size budgets, making this a huge leap for the filmmaker, but his progression and projects he’s worked on over the last decade show that he’s well prepared for the situation. It also helps that he and Jordan have a prior relationship, which will no doubt make the process easy from the get-go.
As for the story, The Silver Bear is based on the series of best-selling novels from Derek Haas and tells the story of Columbus, a man who becomes the most feared and respected hitman in the criminal underworld. Here’s a full synopsis from Amazon:
Screenwriter Haas’s debut features a darkly compelling narrator. When a young hit man who refers to himself as Columbus learns his next job is to assassinate presidential candidate Abe Mann, Columbus is not taken aback so much by Mann’s national prominence as he is by the key role Mann once played in Columbus’s past. Soon Columbus realizes that those behind the plot appear to be setting somebody else up as well—himself. The suspense builds as Columbus goes about his business, all the while detailing his accomplishments, his acuity, his nerve, his intelligence. Then he does something so unlikely that the reader immediately realizes that whatever the author intended, this is a narrator too unreliable to listen to, much less trust. Still, those looking for a downbeat political fable during the current election season may be satisfied.
No official release date has been given to the film, but with Jordan’s upcoming workload, I would not be surprised if this is put on “fast track” type speed. What do you think of this news? Have you been waiting to see Jordan in a pure action role like this? Do you like the director’s choice? Have you read the books? Leave all your questions, comments and concerns in the section below!