EXCLUSIVE: Steelyard Pictures, the production company behind 2022 horror thriller The Inhabitant, has attached Andrzej Bartkowiak (Romeo Must Die) to direct The Dire Wolf, a supernatural thriller to shoot in New Mexico, for release next year.
No word yet on the casting front. But the film tells the story of Hank Whitmore, a sharp and stubborn New Mexican sheriff who aligns with the Navajo Nation when a series of supernatural events threatens his family, his town, and his way of life.
Ry Cook penned the script and Leone Marucci (The Inhabitant, The Power of Few) will produce alongside Tetrad Studios’ Roy Scott Macfarland (The Devil You Know, Fast Charlie), Legacy Media Ventures’ Jeffrey Katz (Buffaloed), and Randy Mendelsohn. Matthew Coates and Kenneth Heilfron will serve as EPs.
“American cinema has long wrestled with our native culture’s spiritual connection to the natural world,” observed Marucci, explaining that “the extinct Dire Wolf was [once] indigenous to North America. Today the wolf spirit symbolizes trust of intuition, guardianship, and the courage to walk one’s own path. We’re thrilled to enlist such a renowned filmmaker to bring The Dire Wolf to the screen.”
A native of Poland, Bartkowiak is best known as the cinematographer of Sidney Lumet’s The Verdict, as well as such other studio films as Speed, Species, Dante’s Peak, Lethal Weapon 4, and The Devil’s Advocate. His credits on the directing front include the Jet Li action thriller Romeo Must Die, Steven Seagal pic Exit Wounds, the crime drama Cradle 2 the Grave, also starring Li, and the sci-fi horror Doom with Karl Urban, which was recently re-released by Netflix.
In addition to Jerren Lauder’s The Inhabitant, starring Odessa A’zion, Leslie Bibb and Dermot Mulroney, for which Gravitas Ventures served as distributor, Steelyard’s credits include founder Leone Marucci’s action drama The Power of Few, starring Christopher Walken, Q’orianka Kilcher, Christian Slater, and Anthony Anderson, as well as the Marucci-helmed indie comedy Reaction.
Bartkowiak is repped by Mendelsohn Law Office and Oren Segal of Management Production Entertainment.