What do you do when you’ve just wiped out half the universe?
That might be the problem facing directors Anthony and Joe Russo, who helmed Avengers: Infinity War to record-breaking numbers earlier this year. The answer is that you look to projects that provide drama on an intense but less cosmic scale. Industry site Screen Daily notes that AGBO, the artists collective founded by the Russos, has just optioned the book The Whisper Man by UK author Alex North, ahead of the thriller’s 2019 publication by the Michael Joseph publishing arm of Random House. The book itself was the subject of a publishing bidding war earlier this year and has received huge praise from those who have seen advance copies ( “The best crime novel of the decade” – Steve Cavanagh, “Terrifying and utterly heartbreaking” – Mark Billingham).
The story tells of a grieving single parent, Tom Kennedy, who moves with his son Jake to the rural town of Featherbank, hoping to build a new life. The only blemish on this picturesque town is that fifteen years ago a serial killer known as The Whisper Man terrorised the area. He was caught, but muttered rumours persist that he had an accomplice who escaped justice. Now Jake claims he is hearing whispers at his bedroom window… and another young child has gone missing.
It is not known if the Russos would take a directing role in the film project, but AGBO President of Production Mike Larocca and Vice-President Malcolm Gray are already signed on as executive producers.