Chris Pratt is headed to the high seas for his next action adventure role. The in-demand actor is set to star in the upcoming Prohibition-era flick, The Real McCoy, based on the story of the real-life bootlegger who inspired the phrase.
Written by Bill Dubuque (The Judge), the film centers around William “Bill” McCoy, a sea captain known for smuggling rum from the Bahamas to the U.S. during Prohibition. Though the trade may have been illegal at the time, Capt. McCoy – a a non-drinker who never touched liquor — considered himself an “honest lawbreaker.” He took pride in the fact that he never paid money to organized crime or law enforcement for protected and unlike many other operations, he sold his merchandise clean and uncut. That attitude earned him the nickname “The Real McCoy.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the idea hails from producer Tom McNulty (The Spectacular Now, Date Night), who pitched the idea to Pratt alongside fellow producer Michael De Luca (The Social Network, Captain Phillips). Pratt was reportedly immediately enthusiastic about the film and quickly signed on to take on the lead role of the bootlegger. His participation was undoubtedly a huge draw for Warner Bros. and Universal, both of which entered into an aggressive bidding war to acquire the rights to the pitch. The latter eventually landed the project, which will make The Real McCoy the second recent collaboration between Pratt and Universal. The actor also previously teamed with the studio for this year’s highly anticipated dinosaur flick, Jurassic World.
Per THR, McNulty and De Luca will serve as producers on The Real McCoy, while Zero Gravity’s Mark Williams (Running Scared, The Cooler) is on board to executive produce. The project is still in the very early stages of development, so no director is attached yet.
From the sounds of it, the role is right up Pratt’s alley. Since his leading turn in the hugely successful Guardians of the Galaxy last year, the actor has quickly become one of Hollywood’s most in-demand leading men, particularly within the action adventure genre.
In fact, The Real McCoy will only be the latest in a packed slate of upcoming projects. In addition to reprising his roles in the coming Guardians and The LEGO Movie sequels, Pratt has a number of other high-profile movies on the way. As previously mentioned, he will next be seen on the big screen leading Jurassic World – which, depending on its box office performance, may lead to future follow-up flicks as well. He’s also set to star alongside Ethan Hawke and Denzel Washington in Antoine Fuqua’s action Western, The Magnificent Seven, scheduled for release in early 2017.
Aside from the above confirmed films, Pratt is also rumored to be in contention for a number of other notable projects. He is reportedly first in line to take on the title role in the big screen adaptation of the Image Comics series Cowboy Ninja Viking. As announced in February, the actor is also in talks to star alongside Jennifer Lawrence in Sony’s upcoming space-set, sci-fi romance flick, Passengers. Also potentially on the pipeline? Another Indiana Jones film and the new male-oriented Ghostbusters flick, both of which Pratt has been name-dropped in connection with, although neither has been confirmed.
With The Real McCoy having just landed at Universal, it may be a while before it gets to theaters, so viewers should stay tuned for more details. In the meantime, Pratt will continue his action movie domination this summer with Jurassic World, due out June 12.