Nicolas Cage Takes Amicus

For writer/director Richard Kelly

Despite seemingly tracking down both the money and the talent he needed to make the movie (including actor Edgar Ramirez), Richard Kelly’s Corpus Christi hit a roadblock some time this year and is now back in the development garage. The writer-director is rebounding, though, setting Nicolas Cage to star in true-crime thriller Amicus.

Cage will play real life lawyer Rodney Smolla, who was engaged to defend a publishing company in a class-action lawsuit brought by the families of murder victims.

Paladin Press’ book Hit Man: A Technical Manual For Independent Contractors was used by killer James Perry while he was preparing to kill record producer Lawrence Horn’s wife, quadriplegic son and the family’s nurse. Horn, who had hired Perry, stood to secure nearly $2 million from his son’s trust, which had been awarded after medical malpractice.

But detectives caught Perry and he was sentenced to death in 1995. Horn is still in prison serving life. When the families of those slain discovered that the book had been part of the crime, they attempted to sue the publishers, and Smolla had to argue one of the most historic, bizarre and shocking cases, which took five years to settle.

Kelly’s script will cover 25 years of the case as a whole and should start shooting this January in Atlanta. Assuming everything comes together, of course...