Oscar-winning producer Lili Fini Zanuck (Rush) is set to direct a big screen adaptation of John O’Brien’s 1996 novel “Assault on Tony’s.” Mark Johnson is producing the project, which is about to start casting with the goal of entering production by year’s end.
The book by the “Leaving Las Vegas” author is described as follows:
The Assault on Tonys is an unapologetic, unsentimental, and at time exuberant examination of the joys and sorrows of intoxication, combining the inimitable unflinching eye and grim wit unique to the novels of John OBrien.
Barricaded in a bar called Tonys while a race riot rages outside, the characters that people The Assault on Tonys are united by their desire to drink to the end, no matter what the consequences. In this stark and darkly humorous novel, social alliances are forged and challenged as each member of this macabre party ignores his fears in favor of keeping his tumbler full to the brim. As time goes on and the liquor supply starts to dwindle, the novel reaches a gritty intensity as it exposes the highs and lows of the human spirit.
Josh Campbell optioned the book and wrote the adaptation. Erik Bergquist was brought on later for a rewrite.
The trade says the riots now have more to do with today’s economic crisis, and the 17 days have been reduced to three. Also, the five bar patrons are now three white men and two black, one of whom has never visited the establishment before and does not drink. The waitress role has been expanded.