Austin Butler to Channel His Inner Crime Boss in 'City of Fire'

Hot on heels of his critically-acclaimed performance in Elvis Presley biopic, the former child actor is now set to front a new movie that could be the beginning of a new franchise.

AceShowbiz - Austin Butler is to lead the cast of "City on Fire". The 31-year-old actor has secured his first starring role since his Oscar-nominated performance in "Elvis" as crime boss Danny Ryan in the adaptation of Don Winslow's novel.

Alongside David Heyman, Shane Salerno, Elizabeth Gabler and Marisa Paiva, Austin will also produce the film from Sony 3000 Pictures. Making the project a high priority, the studio are to hold meetings with writers and directors immediately.

"City on Fire" is the first in a trilogy of novels and it is hoped that the movie could be the beginning of a franchise for Butler to appear in. The trilogy focuses on two criminal empires - one Irish, one Italian - that control New England as an event tears them apart and causes a brutal war.

Austin's character Danny Ryan is forced to grow from a street soldier into a ruthless leader to protect his family, friends and the home he loves. As he battles the Mafia and the local cops, Danny plans to build a dynasty or die trying.

Winslow expressed delight that Butler has agreed to take leading-man status in the adaptation of his work. The author said, "Like so many people around the world, I was amazed by Austin Butler's Oscar-nominated performance in 'Elvis'."

"I've had a number of conversations with Austin about this trilogy that I've been working on for almost 30 years of my life, and I have been deeply impressed by his commitment to playing Danny Ryan as well as his passion to also produce the three films with David and Shane and Elizabeth and Marisa."

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