Matthew McConaughey in ‘The Gentlemen.’ Photo: STX films.
- Matthew McConaughey is in talks for ‘The Lost Bus’.
- Paul Greengrass is considering directing.
- Jamie Lee Curtis developed the project based on a real-life story.
It’s been a couple of years since we’ve seen Matthew McConaughey on our screens (that would be in Guy Ritchie’s 2019 movie ‘The Gentlemen’, though he reprised his voice role as ambitious koala Buster Moon in 2021’s ‘Sing 2’), but if Apple and Blumhouse have their way, he’ll be back.
According to Deadlinehe’s locking in a deal to star in ‘The Lost Bus’, a new based-on-truth thriller that is headed our way from Blumhouse and Apple Original Films. But despite the Blumhouse company being involved, this isn’t a horror film –– unless you hate fire, perhaps (which is far from the most illogical fear).
Instead, this will draw from a real life act of bravery by two ordinary people in an extraordinary situation.
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What’s the story of ‘The Lost Bus’?
Matthew McConaughey in ‘Killer Joe.’ Photo: LD Entertainment.
The movie will chart the efforts heroic bus driver Kevin McKay and school teacher Mary Ludwig, who helped navigate a bus full of children through the deadly wildfire as the town of Paradise is caught in the destruction and chaos. The fire destroyed most of the mountain town and killed 85.
‘Out Of The Furnace’s Brad Ingelsby adapted the script from Lizzie Johnson’s book ‘Paradise: One Town’s Struggle to Survive an American Wildfire’, which chronicled the deadly incident.
Who is behind ‘The Lost Bus’?
Jamie Lee Curtis poses backstage with the Oscar® for Actress in a Supporting Role during the live ABC telecast of the 95th Oscars® at Dolby® Theatre at Ovation Hollywood on Sunday, March 12, 2023.
The new movie has been a passion project for Jamie Lee Curtis since 2022, after hearing Johnson talk about the book in an NPR interview. She investigated the rights and set it up with Blumhouse, where her Comet Pictures company has a first-look deal.
Together, they hired Brad Ingelsby to write a script, which has since found its way in front of ‘United 93’ and ‘News of the World’s director Paul Greengrass.
He was interested, but forward momentum last year was stymied by the writers and actors’ strikes that shut down development and potential shooting.
Matthew McConaughey in ‘Dallas Buyers Club.’ Photo: Focus Features.
Now though, with McConaughey negotiating to star (Deadline isn’t clear on whether Curtis will appear in the film, though she could conceivably play Mary Ludwig as well as producing) and Greengrass considering making this his next film, this one looks set to speed up quickly, especially since Apple is looking to back the movie.
The director is also attached to adapt T.J. Newman’s book ‘Drowning’ (about passengers and crew trapped in a crashed, sinking plane), but from the looks of this, he’s planning to make ‘The Lost Bus’ a priority before he moves on to the plane film.
As for McConaughey, he’s got one other movie, crime thriller ‘The Rivals of Amziah King’ making its way through post-production, and has some TV projects gearing up to shoot, including one for Apple, ‘Brother from Another Mother’, which co-stars Woody Harrelson.
Actors Woody Harrelson (L) and Matthew McConaughey speak onstage at the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage.
Movies starring Matthew McConaughey: