Paramount Players Taps Rapman to Direct Film Based on Oscar-Nominated ‘A Prophet’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Justin Kroll

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Andrew “Rapman” Onwubolu has been tapped by Paramount Players to direct the thriller “American Son,” which is based on the critically acclaimed French film “A Prophet.”

The movie will mark Rapman’s first directing job at a major studio. Dennis Lehane wrote the screenplay and Neal H. Moritz is producing through his Original Film banner.

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The original pic, directed by Jacques Audiard, follows an Arab man (played by Tahar Rahim), who’s sent to a French prison, where he becomes a mafia kingpin. “A Prophet” went on to win the grand prix at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. It was also nominated for best foreign-language film at the 2010 Oscars.

American Son” centers around a man, who after falling under the control of a ruthless mobster while in prison, builds a multiracial crime syndicate, takes down his mentor, and earns a place for his crew alongside the Italian and Russian mafias. It’s a progressive crime saga for a new generation.

Originally set up at Sony Pictures, where it was retitled “American Son,” the film is now a major priority for Paramount as it begins the casting process.

Rapman is best known for creating the three-part YouTube musical drama series “Shiro’s Story,” which has since received a cult following in the U.K. music scene. He also directed the film adaptation of the show “Blue Story,” which caught the eye of Paramount execs during the directing search. Rapman is repped by CAA, is managed by RocNation and his attorney is Andre Des Roche.

Lehane’s novels, including “Mystic River,” “Gone Baby Gone” and “Shutter Island,” have been adapted into massive film hits. He is repped by Echo Entertainment.

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