Jared Leto is directing a thriller based on a script by James Ellroy

The upcoming 77 will tell the true crime story of kidnapped American heiress Patty Hearst.

Words

Rebecca Dykstra

He’s an Oscar-winning movie star and the frontman of a platinum-selling rock band – and now Jared Leto is adding ‘feature filmmaker’ to his résumé. Variety reports that the he has signed a deal with Paramount Pictures to direct 77, a thriller based on the true story of Californian heiress Patty Hearst who was kidnapped in 1974.

The film is based on an original script from James Ellroy, the prolific American crime writer who has previously provided treatments for LA Confidential, The Black Dahlia, Rampart and others. It follows the story of two cops who team up to recover the missing granddaughter of American publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, while also investigating the grisly murder of a fellow police officer. During their search for the missing woman the duo uncover corruption, cover-ups and a dark conspiracy.

Although Leto has never made a feature before, this won’t be his first time occupying the director’s chair. In 2012 he directed Artifact, a documentary about his band, Thirty Seconds to Mars, which he released under the pseudonym Bartholomew Cubbins. The film won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. He’s also directed a handful of music videos and documentary shorts, mainly about his own music career.

If you’re not entirely sold on the prospect of a Leto-helmed Hollywood thriller, it may be worth remembering that he’s worked with some pretty impressive directors over the course of his film career, including David Fincher (on Fight Club and Panic Room), Darren Aronofsky (on Requiem for a Dream) and Terrence Malick (on The Thin Red Line). We’ll give the Dallas Buyers Club and Suicide Squad star the benefit of the doubt for now and hope that some of that filmmaking magic has rubbed off on him.

Published 16 Feb 2017

Tags: James Ellroy Jared Leto

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