Eric Bana and Terrence Howard are attached to star in "Factor X," a thriller being written by Gregory Allen Howard for New Line Cinema telling the true tale of how the BTK killer was captured. Ridley Scott and Scott Free Prods. president Michael Costigan will produce the pro-ject, which could become a directing vehicle for Scott.
The serial killer known as BTK murdered people in and around Wichita, Kan., from 1974-91 and was finally caught in 2005, turning out to be a mild-mannered leader at a local church. The acronym described his modus operandi, which was to bind, torture and kill.
"Factor X," which takes its name from what the killer described in taunting letters to the police as his motive for murder, tells how a young, black counterterrorism expert from Washington teamed up with a Wichita police detective, who spent his career trying to chase down the killer.
Bana will play the detective and Terrence Howard would be the counterterrorism expert.
East Coast-based scribe Howard, who made a name for himself writing real-life inspirational sports dramas such as "Remember the Titans" and "Ali," came across counterterrorism expert Stanley Campbell at a dinner party thrown by his cousin, a federal judge. After Howard learned of Campbell's story, and how he invented a data reduction process to mathematically rule out suspects, he doggedly pursued the man for a year trying to get his life rights. Campbell eventually caved, partly because of Howard's promise to not make an exploitative movie.
Howard then got Bana on board, followed by actor Terrence Howard and his manager Victoria Fredrick. Costigan and Scott soon followed.
"Factor X" went out last week, but New Line, excited about the pairing of Bana and Howard, quickly took it off the table. The studio's Cale Boyter and Sam Brown brought the project in and will be oversee for the studio.
Fredrick and scribe Howard will be involved in a producer capacity.
Bana, who last starred in "Munich," will next appear in "Lucky You" with Drew Barrymore. He is repped by WMA.
Terrence Howard, who earned an Academy Award nomination for best actor for his performance in last year's "Hustle & Flow," recently joined the cast of "Iron Man," which shoots early next year. He recently completed production on "The Brave One" with Jodie Foster. He is repped by WMA, Flavor Unit, LAF Studios and attorney Stewart Levy.
Gregory Allen Howard, repped by WMA and Colden McKuin & Frankel, is writing the true-life pugilist pic "Knock Out" (aka "Golden Boy") for Jerry Bruckheimer and the Walt Disney Co.