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Austin Butler to Lead Darren Aronofsky’s Baseball Crime Drama ‘Caught Stealing’

Austin Butler is continuing his auteur collaborations, this time partnering up with Darren Aronofsky.

Butler, who was Oscar-nominated for his breakout transformative “Elvis” role, is set to lead Aronofsky’s upcoming feature “Caught Stealing.” Novelist Charlie Huston will adapt his own work for the screen. Protozoa is producing the Sony crime thriller. The novel is the first installment of Huston’s Henry Thompson trilogy series.

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“Caught Stealing” was originally set for an adaptation in 2013 with Patrick Wilson cast in the lead role, now occupied by Butler. The story follows Hank Thompson, a former high school baseball prospect turned alcoholic bartender who gets caught up in a treasure hunt through New York City. A sadistic police officer tries to outrun Thompson, hitmen, and mobsters to find the treasure. Alec Baldwin was cast as the cop in the 2013 iteration that was slated to be written by David Hayter and directed by Wayne Kramer.

Butler recently appeared in Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune: Part Two” and will star in Jeff Nichols’ delayed “The Bikeriders.” The actor is additionally cast in Ari Aster’s “Eddington” at A24 alongside Aster’s “Beau Is Afraid” star Joaquin Phoenix, two-time Oscar winner Emma Stone, and “Yellowstone” star Luke Grimes. “Eddington” is billed as a Western set during the pandemic in which a couple runs out of gas in the small town that becomes a living nightmare.

Butler is rumored to also be in talks to co-lead Michael Mann’s long-awaited sequel to his 1995 classic crime thriller “Heat.” Mann’s “Ferrari” actor Adam Driver is expected to be cast as young thief Neil McCauley, with Butler perhaps portraying cop Vincent Hanna. The character of McCauley was originally portrayed by Robert De Niro, with Al Pacino as Hanna. “Heat 2” will serve as both a prequel and a sequel to “Heat,” with the film taking place both before and after the events of the original movie.

In addition to “Caught Stealing,” Aronofsky is attached to an A24 biopic about Elon Musk, based on Walter Isaacson’s biography. The biopic will be Aronofsky’s second project at A24 following his Oscar-winning “The Whale.” SpaceX CEO Musk formerly stepped down as chairman of Tesla in 2018, and purchased Twitter for $44 billion in 2023. He renamed the platform X amid a slew of layoffs.

Aronofsky’s filmography includes his debut feature “Pi,” “Requiem for a Dream,” “mother!,” and “Black Swan.” He also helmed experiential film “Postcards from Earth,” which is shown at The Sphere in Las Vegas.

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