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Cold In July director prepping story of an arsonist convicted of murdering five firemen

Photo: Nelson Bakerman/Glass Eye Pix

After directing the domestic horror flick We Are Who We Are, the ’80s-set film noir Cold In July, and prepping the ’80s-set martial arts buddy series Hap And Leonard for Sundance, Jim Mickle once again will drastically switch tones to tackle the rare mash-up of “firefighter tragedy/legal thriller” with Esperanza. Based on the true story chronicled in John Maclean’s 2013 book The Esperanza Fire, the film will trace the court case of Raymond Oyler, who was convicted of murdering a five-man Forest Service engine crew with a deadly blaze. According to Entertainment Weekly, the film also will tell the stories of the firefighters who died. And if you think that sounds like too much for one arson movie, just think of all the extraneous stuff Backdraft crammed into its running time (romance, a whodunit, firehose choreography, etc.).

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