Rami Malek might soon be headed from the cyber world of hacktivism to the criminal underworld. The Mr. Robot star is in talks for a lead role in the upcoming remake of Franklin J. Schaffner’s Oscar-nominated 1973 film Papillon, EW has confirmed.
If cast, Malek will play Louis Dega, a counterfeiter who seeks protection from Henri Charriere (Charlie Hunnam) as a gang of thugs pursues him. Based on Charriere’s real-life memoirs, the film follows the pair as their relationship deepens, spanning Charriere’s days as a petty criminal to his unjust incarceration for murder (and subsequent escape). While the original film was set in 1930s France, the new production is a contemporary retelling. Dustin Hoffman played Dega in Schaffner’s version, while Steve McQueen took on the role of Charriere.
Michael Noer (Northwest) is directing the project from a script written by Prisoners scribe Aaron Guzikowski. The film’s producing team includes Joey McFarland, Riza Aziz, David Koplan, Ram Bergman, and Roger Corbi. Danny Dimbort and Christian Mercuri are executive-producing the Papillon remake alongside Kevan Van Thompson, Yan-Fischer-Romanovsky, Joshua D. Mauer, Terrence Chang, and Martin Hellstern.
Red Granite International purchased domestic rights to the film earlier this year at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Deadline, which first reported the Malek news, states that production is set to begin next month and will shoot in Belgrade, Montenegro, and Thailand.