Director Ron Howard (“Apollo 13″) recently suffered quite an embarrassing a setback when Universal Pictures pulled out all financing for his adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower”. It seems like the studio no longer believed in the project. Rather than rest on his laurels fretting, Howard has quickly moved on with another book adaptation. This time it’s a non-fiction work, and a true story at that. “Under The Banner Of Heaven”, written by Jon Krakauer, is about the investigation of a religious cult’s involvement in a series of murders. Krakauer’s other book “Into The Wild” was also turned into a film — a pretty good one too. That adaptation was directed by Sean Penn and starred Emile Hirsh. I recommend catching it if you haven’t. Let’s see if Howard can do justice to Krakauer’s work.
The author’s official description of the book goes: “At the core of ["Under the Banner of Heaven"] is an appalling double murder committed by two Mormon Fundamentalist brothers, Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a revelation from God commanding them to kill their blameless victims. Beginning with a meticulously researched account of this “divinely inspired” crime, Krakauer constructs a multilayered, bone-chilling narrative of messianic delusion, savage violence, polygamy, and unyielding faith. Along the way, he uncovers a shadowy offshoot of America’s fastest-growing religion, and raises provocative questions about the nature of religious belief.”
Howard will reteam with his regular producer Brian Grazer. No casting has been discussed yet.