by Amanda N’Duka – Deadline Hollywood
EXCLUSIVE: Balboa Productions, the recently formed shingle led by Sylvester Stallone and producer Braden Aftergood, has solidified its project lineup, some of which will be starring vehicles for Stallone, who will also produce the projects with Aftergood.
Likely to be first in the pipeline is Samaritan, written by Bragi Schut, which is a dark, fresh take on the superhero genre that has Stallone attached to star. The aim is to start production next year.
Also in the works is Stallone’s long-gestating Hunter adaptation based on the novel by James Byron Huggins. Stallone bought film rights to Hunter in 2009 reportedly with the idea to incorporate it into a Rambo story line. The book centers on Nathaniel Hunter, whose hyper-tracking skills are employed to hunt down a raging beast, a half-human terror created by a renegade agency that is threatening to wreak havoc on civilization. Balboa is in the process of locking down a writer.
In addition, Balboa has acquired the film rights to Ghost: My Thirty Years as an FBI Undercover Agent, a memoir by 30-year FBI veteran Michael McGowan and Ralph Pezzullo. Before his retirement, McGowan served as an FBI field operative who, unprecedentedly, worked on more than 50 undercover cases. A search for a screenwriter is now underway.
Other projects include a film set in the world of special ops to be written by retired Army Ranger Max Adams. That pic, along with Hunter, and Ghost, are being backed by Chinese financier Starlight Cultural Entertainment, which has an overall deal with Balboa.
On the TV side, the company’s development slate includes Levon’s Trade, from comic book author Chuck Dixon, and Second Son, adapted from the bestselling novel by Charles Sailor which Rob Williams (Killing Eve) will pen.
Balboa launched this year with its first feature about Jack Johnson, the first African American heavyweight champion who was recently pardoned by President Donald Trump; the movie is set up at MGM.
Stallone is in the midst of shooting Rambo V and will soon be seen on the big screen starring in the Creed sequel, which is out November 21.