After years of development, the vigilante thriller Prisoners is finally headed towards production. We learned last April that Incendies director Denis Villeneuve had been set to helm the project, and today it was announced that Hugh Jackman will star. The story centers on a working-class Boston father who sets out to track down the man he believes is responsible for kidnapping his daughter and her friend. Along the way, he runs up against the big city detective assigned to the case. Jackman had been attached to the project a few years ago when Antoine Fuqua was lined up to direct, but he subsequently dropped out. Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio have all eyed the thriller at one time or another, but it looks like Jackman is the one who’ll be kicking ass on screen. Hit the jump for more.
Villeneuve was nominated for the Best Foreign Langauge Film Oscar for Incendies, and his involvement coupled with Jackman as the hardened father lead me to believe we’re in for something more than an average revenge thriller. Production is schedule to begin in early 2013 once Jackman completes The Wolverine, with a November 2013 release date being eyed. That month has a few tentpoles set for release already, including The Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire, Marvel’s Thor 2, DreamWorks Animation’s Me and My Shadow, Disney’s animated film Frozen, and Roland Emmerich’s sci-fi pic Singularity. Jackman will next be seen this December in Les Miserables. Read the full press release below.
LOS ANGELES, CA, MARCH 15, 2012 – Hugh Jackman will topline and Denis Villeneuve (Academy Award-nominated “Incendies”) will direct the gripping thriller PRISONERS for Alcon Entertainment, it was announced by Alcon Co-Founders and Co-CEOs Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson.
Written by Aaron Guzikowski (“Contraband”), story revolves around a small-town carpenter named Keller (Jackman) whose young daughter and best friend are kidnapped. After the cops fail to find them, Keller takes the law into his own hands, but in the process runs up against the big city detective assigned to the case.
Kosove and Johnson are producing, along with 8:38 Productions’ Kira Davis and Madhouse Entertainment’s Adam Kolbrenner. Ed McDonnell and John Stark will executive produce.
Production is scheduled to begin in early 2013 once Jackman completes the next “Wolverine: X-Men” for Fox. Alcon is targeting a November 2013 release through their output deal with Warner Bros.
States Johnson and Kosove: “We are ecstatic that Hugh will take the lead in this exciting thriller. We can think of no better ‘Keller’ — an everyman who rises to an occasion most of us could not imagine possible. Denis’s rare directing gifts are superbly matched to this material, that is both challenging and explores complex themes in a commercially appealing narrative.”
Jackman will next be seen playing Jean Valjean in Universal Pictures’ “Les Misérables,” currently shooting in the UK for release in December. He will next go into production on Marvel Entertainment’s “The Wolverine” for Fox.