The Big Stone Grid: S. Craig Zahler to direct crime noir film with horror elements

S. Craig Zahler will direct the crime film The Big Stone Grid, which previously had Michael Mann and Pierre Morel attached

Bone Tomahawk

Way back in 2011, Sony Pictures acquired a spec script titled The Big Stone Grid, which was written by S. Craig Zahler – who is best known these days for writing and directing the films Bone Tomahawk, Brawl in Cell Block 99, and Dragged Across Concrete. As of early 2012, Michael Mann was in talks to work on script revisions with Zahler and to direct the film. The Mann take on the material didn’t come to fruition, and four years later the project moved over to Lotus Entertainment, with Pierre Morel on board to direct. Morel couldn’t get it into production, either. Eight more years down the line, World of Reel reports that Zahler is now set to direct the film himself.

Part of the reason why Zahler has gone six years without directing a new film is the fact that the project he was pursuing, Hug Chickenpenny (an adaptation of his book Hug Chickenpenny: The Panegyric of an Anomalous Child), fell apart due to lack of funding. That was going to be a gothic tale with a cast of puppets provided by the Jim Henson company – and apparently Zahler was envisioning it as a 3-hour black & white film that would have been reminiscent of David Lynch’s The Elephant Man.

Described as a high-concept, hard-edged suspense thriller and compared to the likes of Seven and Marathon Man, The Big Stone Grid centers on a pair of big-city detectives caught in a cat-and-mouse game with serial killers who have themselves been extorted into committing heinous crimes. World of Reel also heard it described as a crime noir with horror elements.

In addition to writing and directing Bone Tomahawk, Brawl in Cell Block 99, and Dragged Across Concrete, Zahler also wrote the horror films Asylum Blackout (directed by Alexandre Courtès) and Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (directed by Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund). According to World of Reel, Ridley Scott is currently gearing up to direct an adaptation of Zahler’s Western novel Wraiths of the Broken Land, which tells the following story: “Desperate to reclaim two kidnapped sisters who were forced into prostitution, the Plugfords storm across the badlands and blast their way through Hell.”

Are you a fan of the films Zahler has written and/or directed, and are you glad to hear he’ll be directing The Big Stone Grid? Share your thoughts on this one by leaving a comment below.

Brawl in Cell Block 99

Source: World of Reel

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.