Austin Butler Is Still Going Strong Post-Dune 2, Has Lined Up A Cool Crime Movie With Some Challengers Talent

 Austin Butler in Dune: Part 2.
Austin Butler in Dune: Part 2.

This year was always set to be a big one for Austin Butler, as both Dune: Part Two and The Bikeriders are among the 2024 movie releases, and the Masters of the Air miniseries premiered to Apple TV+ subscribers. Regarding the movies, the former came and went collecting critical acclaim, including CinemaBlend’s Dune: Part Two review giving it a perfect score, and the latter is arriving in June. But this year has already seen Butler line up some intriguing projects too, with the latest one being a cool crime movie that has some Challengers talent attached.

Ahead of the Luca Guadagnino-directed movie bowing in theaters at the end of the month, Deadline reports that Challengers writer Justin Kuritzkes has been tapped by Sony Pictures 3000 to write City on Fire, a film adaptation of the same-named novel that’s the first entry in a trilogy penned by author Don Winslow. Austin Butler will both star in the movie and produce alongside David Heyman from Heyday Films and Shane Salerno from The Story Factory. This news arrives shortly after City in Ruins, the final entry in Winslow’s trilogy, as well as his last book, makes its way onto bestseller lists.

Described as a modern day adaptation of Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneid and other Greek tragic dramas, City on Fire begins a crime saga that follows a struggle between Irish and Italian crime families that control New England. This becomes complicated when, as Deadline puts it in their writeup, “a modern-day Helen of Troy tears them apart and starts a brutal war.” Austin Butler will play main character Danny Ryan in this upcoming book adaptation, who evolves from a low-level goon to a leader who sets out to build his own dynasty and will fight anyone, ranging from the Mafia to the police and federal agents, to protect those he loves.

Assuming the City on Fire movie gets off the ground, this is the second movie Justin Kuritzkes has lined up, as he’s also adapting the William S. Burroughs novel Queer into a movie that will also be directed by Luca Guadagnino. Meanwhile for Austin Butler, it was reported in March that he’s going to be working with director Darren Aronofsky on Caught Stealing, an adaptation of Charlie Huston’s same-named novel (he’s also writing the screenplay) that follows a former baseball player who gets caught up in New York’s criminal underworld while working as a bartender. March also saw Butler begin filming the upcoming A24 movie Eddington, which costars Joaquin Phoenix, Pedro Pascal and Emma Stone.

While Butler has been professionally acting for nearly 20 years, the last several years has seen him becoming one of Hollywood’s most notable talents. In 2019, he played Tex Watson in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and then he was cast as Elvis Presley in Elvis, which netted him numerous accolades, including a Golden Globe win and Academy Award nomination. He played Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen and Gale Cleven in Dune: Part Two and Masters of the Air, respectively, and he’s playing Benny in The Bikeriders, which opens on June 21.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for updates on City on Fire and Austin Butler’s other upcoming projects. Those of you who are interested in seeing Challengers, which stars Zendaya and Josh O’Connor, can do so in theaters starting April 26.