Tom Hardy Is A True American

For director Kathryn Bigelow


The prospect of a true crime tale with Tom Hardy soundly attached must’ve been a tantalising proposition for studios when his agents floated the idea earlier this year. After several competing bids, Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures scored the chance to make it and have teamed Hardy with Zero Dark Thirty’s Kathryn Bigelow for what sounds like a compelling combo.

True American will be drawn from Anand Giridharadas non-fiction tome subtitled Murder And Mercy In Texas. It’s the story of Raisuddin Bhuiyan, a Bangladesh Air Force officer who longed to live and work in America’s technology sector. He made it to the States, finding temporary work in a Dallas minimart, which is where cruel fate intervened. A few days after September 11, 2001, self-styled "American Terrorist" Mark Stroman walked into the store and shot him.

Some stories would end there, but the astonishing tale isn’t done: as Stroman sat on death row for his crime and Bhuiyan struggled to recuperate from injuries that had maimed and nearly killed him, the Bangladesh native decided to seek out his attacker and grant him forgiveness, while starting a campaign against the death penalty in their state. Stroman, for his part, strove to become a better man in prison.

With no writer attached yet, it’ll be a while before this project comes to fruition, assuming it survives development. Hardy’s got a packed schedule anyway, lining up the likes of Elton John biopic Rocketman and Brian Helgeland’s Kray brothers narrative Legend. He’ll next be seen in The Drop and Child 44.