Cherry, a biographical chronicle of the PTSD and addiction-afflicted life of its author, Army vet Nico Walker, was the center of a serious bidding war among studios for the movie rights, one that ultimately saw AGBO – the upstart shingle of esteemed Marvel mega-movie directors Joe and Anthony Russo – offer $1 million to buy it outright. Indeed, it appears that the revered Marvel movie maestros are not only set to direct, but they’re eyeing Spider-Man himself, Tom Holland, to star.
Talks are underway for Tom Holland to star in Cherry, reports Variety. Thus, while the film will serve as the first non-Marvel follow-up from the Russos after the colossally culminative events of April’s Avengers: Endgame, it won’t be without one of the directors’ Marvel-made stars atop the marquee. The Russos will direct Cherry working off a script, adapted from Walker’s book, by Jessica Goldberg, the creator/executive-producer/writer of Hulu’s The Path. Last August, the siblings acquired the film rights through their AGBO company barely over a week after the book was first released. The acclaimed book from first-time author Walker is a timely tome amid the current opioid epidemic.
Cherry chronicles Walker’s experiences, starting as a college freshman in Cleveland whose romantic woes lead him to join the Army as a medic in 2005 – during the height of the Iraq War – in which he served until 2006. Consequently, his experiences on over 200 combat missions leave him with a serious (tragically undiagnosed,) case of PTSD, leading him down a road of addiction to opioids, notably heroin; an addiction that doesn’t leave him upon his return to civilian life, resulting in desperate attempts to replenish funds as a bank robber. After hitting 10 banks in the Cleveland area, Walker was arrested in April 2011, which led to a guilty plea in 2012 for which he received an 11-year sentence. However, the incarcerated Walker would become the focus of a Buzzfeed article about his tragic story, which led to him connecting with a publisher.
For prospective star Tom Holland, Cherry joins a bountiful backlog that notably includes more runs as Spider-Man – next in Avengers: Endgame and this summer’s Spider-Man: Far from Home – as well as a prospective post-apocalyptic film franchise in the Doug Liman-directed, 2020-scheduled Chaos Walking, in which he stars opposite the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy’s Daisy Ridley. Sometime after that, he’s also set to manifest as the one and only Nathan Drake, starring in the live-action film adaptation of the popular video game series, Uncharted.
Cherry directors Joe and Anthony Russo – already lauded for their previous Marvel movie work on Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War – currently reside in the stratosphere of the industry for their work on last year’s Avengers: Infinity War, which earned over $2 billion worldwide, setting up April’s follow-up effort, Avengers: Endgame, which, of course, is in a very good position to surpass its predecessor. Consequently, the Russos’ presence on the Cherry movie immediately gives the project major weight, prospectively serving as the siblings’ attempt at awards season adulation. Moreover, it showcases a story that’s close to home for the Russos, who grew up in its Cleveland setting and saw opioid addiction claim the life of a friend.
The Russos, in addition to directing, will serve as producers on Cherry, joined in the latter capacity by AGBO’s Mike Larocca.
We will keep you updated on the Russos’ Cherry movie project as things develop!