Production is set to begin on August 18 in Detroit on the low-$40m range story of a criminal mastermind who controls a city from the confines of his prison cell. Butler will play the prosecutor who stands in his way.
Darabont would appear to be well suited for the project given his taste for prison dramas like The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile.
Kurt Wimmer wrote the screenplay and Lucas Foster (Mr & Mrs Smith) is producing with Alan Siegel and Butler.
The Film Department's international sales chief Steve Bickel is also talking up Bart Freundlich's romantic comedy The Rebound with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Justin Bartha, adventure The Peak 3D and Second World War thriller Brothers In Arms.