Austin Butler To Star In Sony’s ‘Caught Stealing’ Adaptation With Darren Aronofsky Directing

EXCLUSIVE: After strong start to 2024 with Masters of the Air and Dune Part 2, Oscar-nominee Austin Butler is looking to build on that success and is teaming up with another Oscar-nominated director. Sources tell Deadline Butler is set to star in Academy Award nominee Darren Aronofsky’s (The Whale, Black Swan) crime thriller Caught Stealing for Sony Pictures. The studio recently landed the package which is based on the book by Charlie Huston. The script will be written by Huston with Protozoa producing.

“I am excited to be teaming up with my old friends at Sony Pictures to bring Charlie’s adrenaline-soaked roller coaster ride to life. I can’t wait to start working with Austin and my family of NYC filmmakers,” said Aronofsky.

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Written by and based on the books by Huston, Caught Stealing follows Hank Thompson, a burned-out former baseball player, as he’s unwittingly plunged into a wild fight for survival in the downtown criminal underworld of ‘90s NYC.

“Darren is one of the most brilliant audiovisual storytellers in the world, and adapting these wonderful books by Charlie Huston for Austin to star was too exciting an opportunity to not be a part of,” said Sanford Panitch, President of Sony Pictures’ Motion Picture Group.

The project keeps ties strong not only between Butler and the studio, who first broke out in Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood and also has Don Winslow’s City On Fire in development, but builds on the relationship between Sony Production President Sanford Panitch and Aronofsky, who have had a longstanding relationship for many years.

After his Oscar-nominated star-making performance as the King of Rock N Roll in 2022’s Elvis, Butler stormed back in a big way with the Band of Brothers sequel, Masters of Air, bowing in January to huge numbers. He followed that up with his scene-stealing role as Dune Part 2 supervillain Feyd Ratha. That film has been one of the biggest films of 2024 so far bringing nearly $600 million at the global box-office so far.

After a month and a half of press for both projects, Butler had been considering several options and per usual was drawn to the opportunity to work with another A-list director after working with Baz Luhrman and Denis Villeneuve. Next up for Butler is the Focus Features pic The Bike Riders.

Best known for his dark dramas like Requiem For a Dream and Black Swan, Aronofsky has earned a reputation for getting the most out of his actors with Mickey Rourke getting nominated for his perf in The Wrestler and Natalie Portman and most recently Brendan Fraser winning Oscars for their perfs in Black Swan and The Whale.

Using unprecedented technology, Aronofsky also recently directed the first ever experience for MSG’s Sphere in Las Vegas, entitled Postcard From Earth.

Huston is the author of thirteen novels, including Catchpenny, which will be published on April 9, 2024, , Sleepless, The Shotgun Rule, and Already Dead. He has developed original TV projects for HBO, FX, FOX, Sony, MAX, and Tomorrow Studios. His scripted podcast Trashfire! is being produced by Atomic Monster for Audible.

Protozoa is headed by Darren Aronofsky and his partner, Ari Handel. Their past film credits include Aronofsky’s π, Requiem For A DreamThe Fountain, The Wrestler, Black Swan, Noah, and mother!; as well as Tobias Lindholm’s The Good Nurse, Pablo Larrain’s Jackie, Lance Oppenheim’s Some Kind Of Heaven, Josef Kobuta Wladyka’s Catch The Fair One, and Alex Pritz’s documentary The Territory. Most recently, they produced Aronofsky’s The Whale which debuted at the 2022 Venice Film Festival. Their groundbreaking experience Postcard From Earth opened MSG’s Sphere in Las Vegas last year. Their recent TV credits include One Strange Rock, Welcome To Earth and S1 of Limitless, for Nat Geo, along with Kindred for FX and Black Gold for Paramount+. Upcoming will be S2 of LimitlessPole To Pole and Sentient For Nat Geo.

Aronofsky is repped by CAA and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopher. Butler is repped by WME, Anonymous Content and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern. Huston is repped by Katz Golden Lerner and Writers House.

Aronofsky joins a list of acclaimed and award winning filmmakers who are currently working with Sony Pictures, including Sam Mendes, who is directing and producing the story of The Beatles with four distinct theatrical feature films; Taika Waititi, who is currently filming Klara and the Sun; Danny Boyle, who is directing 28 Years Later; and Kogonada, who is directing A Big Bold Beautiful Journey, which is due to start later this Spring as well as Jason Reitman, who is currently shooting SNL 1975.

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