Russell Crowe to star in new historical drama

Russell Crowe will star in the survival drama In Sand and Blood, set in Africa in the early 19th century.

Luc Roeg is producing with IM Global topper Stuart Ford and Matt Jackson. The project has been in development since 2010 with Public Enemies scribe Ronan Bennett writing a script, based on Dean King’s nonfiction book Skeletons on the Zahara: A True Story of Survival, reported Variety online.

Saul Dibb, whose credits include Michelle Williams’ Suite Francaise, Keira Knightley’s The Duchess, is directing.

The story became known due to a memoir by American sea captain James Riley, who detailed how he and his crew were captured in Africa after being shipwrecked in 1815 off the desolate coast of the Sahara.

The book was published in 1817 as “Authentic Narrative of the Loss of the American Brig Commerce” and republished as “Sufferings in Africa”, which included being captured and enslaved by marauding natives.

Crowe made his directorial debut in “The Water Diviner this year and will be seen next with Ryan Gosling in Shane Black’s thriller The Nice Guys.
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