Apple Original Films has landed the worldwide rights to CHERRY, the first film directed by Joe and Anthony Russo since Marvel’s AVENGERS: ENDGAME. The feature is an adaptation of the bestselling novel by Nico Walker, which stars your friendly neighborhood Tom Holland in the lead role. Apple ponied up well over $40 million for the project, which is hoping to arrive as an awards contender. The deal with Apple marks one of the year’s biggest price tags for an in-demand project.
In the true-life story based on Walker’s own life, the author recalls his time as a former Army medic who returned from Iraq with extreme undiagnosed PTSD, and how he fell into opioid addiction and began robbing banks.
Holland will star in the drama as Walker, with Ciara Bravo stepping into the role of Walker’s young wife. Kelli Berglund, Thomas Lennon, Jack Reynor, Forrest Goodluck, Jeff Wahlberg, Michael Gandolfini, and Kyle Harvey also star.
The book, which has been hailed as a cross between Jesus’ Son and Reservoir Dogs, takes place in Cleveland and revolves around a young man from an affluent family who marries his hometown girlfriend before joining the Army and shipping out to Iraq. As an Army medic, Walker is unprepared for the grisly reality that awaits him, as well as the rough-and-tumble nature of his fellow soldiers who smoke, huff computer duster, take painkillers, watch porn, and get gruesomely injured all too regularly. By the time the soldier returns home, he has an undiagnosed case of extreme PTSD and has become hooked on the opioids prescribed to him. In time, he finds an outlet that forces him to focus and makes him feel the way he did in pressure combat situations: he robs banks.
The film, co-written by Jessica Goldberg and Angela Russo-Otstot, aims to qualify with the Academy and premiere in early 2021 on Apple TV +.