Austin Butler will star in City on Fire, an adaptation of Don Winslow’s novel from Sony 3000 Pictures, reported Deadline. This will be Butler’s first film as a producer which is also bankrolled by David Heyman and Shane Salerno.
This deal marks Butler’s return to Sony Pictures, where he had the first breakout as Tex in the Quentin Tarantino-directed Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. City on Fire is the first title in a novel trilogy, so it’s expected that Butler will have another prominent franchise to his credit after starring in the Baz Luhrmann-directed Elvis.
The novel takes elements of The Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneid and Greek tragic dramas and places them in a world of contemporary crime. The first instalment was published in April 2022, and the second book in the trilogy, City of Dreams, will be published on April 18. The trilogy focuses on two criminal empires – one Irish, the other Italian – that control all of New England. A modern-day Helen of Troy event tears them apart and starts a brutal war.
Butler will play the main character, Danny Ryan, forced to grow from a street soldier into a ruthless leader to protect his friends, his family and the home he loves. Fighting the Mafia, and the local cops, Danny intends to build a dynasty or die trying. 3000 head Elizabeth Gabler said, “We are elated that venerable producer David Heyman, alongside Austin Butler, will join forces with Shane Salerno to make Don Winslow’s spectacular trilogy, starting with City on Fire. Don is an iconic novelist and a true master of the genre of suspenseful crime fiction and has created one of the most memorable modern-day heroes in Danny Ryan, the complex and compelling protagonist of this trilogy. It is a dream come true to envision Austin, with his uniquely brilliant and charismatic talent, bringing this character and story to cinematic life.”
Butler will next be seen in Dune: Part Two, the Jeff Nichol-directed The Bikeriders and Apple TV’s miniseries Masters of Air. The latter continues the tapestry of WWII soldier tales that started with Band of Brothers and The Pacific. The limited series is executive produced by Steven Spielberg and Playtone’s Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman.