Alex Pettyfer, Maria Bakalova, Tom Hopper and Frank Grillo are set to star in Branded, based on the New Yorker article “The Brand” by New York Times bestselling author David Grann.
Kieron Hawkes (Power) directs from a screenplay by Alessandro Camon, whose work includes The Messenger and the upcoming The Listener.
Branded tells the origin story of organized crime gangs in America’s prison system. Pettyfer plays Taylor, a once promising football player, serving life for murdering a drug dealer. Grillo plays Carter, feared leader of the dominant white gang in San Quentin, who takes Taylor under his wing and grooms him as a future leader. The authorities’ attempt to break down the gang by dispersing members to other prisons only psreads its influence through the entire system, and eventually to the streets. Taylor finds himself at the center of a growing empire, earing serious money and the ability to marry and support the love of his life, Lilly (Bakalova). When Lilly gets pregnant after a conjugal visit and the gang embarks on a course of escalating violence, Taylor is forced to question his choices and to make the hardest one. Has he got the mettle and courage to bring down the empire he helped build?
Grann’s popular stories have served as source material for a raft of feature films including David Lowery’s The Old Man And The Gun and Martin Scorcese’s upcoming Killers Of The Flower Moon, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Lily Gladstone and Robert DeNiro.
Branded is an Identity Media production in association with Dark Dreams Entertainment. It is produced by Anthony Mastromauro, Grillo and Alessandro Camon. Pettyfer and Ash Avildsen serve as executive producers. The film is currently in preproduction for a fall start date.
HanWay Films has picked up international sales rights and will shop the project to buyers in Cannes. CAA Media Finance is repping U.S. rights.