The 'Stolen' actor will team up with the 'Donnie Darko' director for the real-life crime thriller based on former record producer Lawrence Horn who hired a hitman to kill his family, inheriting their fortune.
Nicolas, 54, is in line to play lawyer Rodney Smolla, who is called in to provide his expertise on the murder case.
The title of the film comes from the term amicus curiaeis - someone, not a party to a case, who volunteers to offer information to assist a court in deciding a matter before it - which is who Nicolas' character is.
Rather than focusing on the murders, the film will explore the 25 years after it took place.
Rodney is defending Paladin Press - the company whose book 'Hit Man: A Technical Manual For Independent Contractors' was used by killer James Perry as he was preparing to kill record producer Lawrence's wife, son and the family's nurse.
It was hoped that Horn would secure approximately $2 million from his son's trust fund by hiring James to do the deed.
Richard was originally working on film 'Corpus Christi' until production hit a wall and he has now aiming for 'Amicus' to be his next feature.
The script is currently waiting for funding and production has been pencilled in to start in January 2013.