EXCLUSIVE: On the eve of the Cannes market, Westbrook Studios and AGC Studios have set Italian filmmaker Stefano Sollima, known for directing Without Remorse, Sicario: Day of the Soldado and hit series Gomorrah, to helm big-budget action-thriller Sugar Bandits.

Based on the screenplay and novel Devils In Exile by Chuck Hogan (The Town), Oscar winner Will Smith (Bad Boys) will play a former special forces soldier who runs an elite vigilante squad working to wipe out the drug trade in Boston. Additional casting continues.

AGC International and CAA Media Finance represent the film’s worldwide distribution rights and will continue sales in Cannes, ahead of an anticipated fall production start.

Smith and Jon Mone will produce Sugar Bandits through Westbrook Studios with Ryan Shimazaki overseeing; Stuart Ford will produce for AGC Studios, which is fully financing; and Richard Abate (13 Hours) will produce for 3 Arts Entertainment. Sollima’s producing partners Gina Gardini will executive-produce and Ludovico Purgatori will co-produce.

AGC’s EVP of Legal & Business Affairs Anant Tamirisa negotiated the deals on behalf of AGC Studios.

Sollima is known for exploring the complex dynamics between law and order and the criminal underworld in film and TV projects. Most recently, he co-wrote, produced and directed the upcoming Italian Netflix four-part series, Il Mostro, based on serial killer The Monster of Florence.

Before that, he co-wrote, produced and directed the Italian Netflix film, Adagio, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival last year. Previously, he directed the Amazon film Without Remorse starring Michael B Jordan, and Sicario: Day Of The Soldado starring Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Catherine Keener and Isabela Moner. He was a director on acclaimed Italian crime drama series Gomorrah and on Amazon’s drug trade limited series ZeroZeroZero starring Gabriel Byrne, Dane DeHaan and Andrea Riseborough.

Sollima is represented by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners, Smith is represented by CAA; and Hogan is represented by WME, 3 Arts Entertainment and Goodman Genow.

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