Shawn Levy to Direct Ali Baba Redo FORTY THIEVES; Liam Hemsworth, Evan Peters, and More Testing for Lead

     November 12, 2014

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After making his first foray into drama to mostly successful results with This Is Where I Leave You, filmmaker Shawn Levy is lining up another large-scale picture.  The Wrap reports that Levy will direct a new take on the folk tale Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves for 20th Century Fox called Forty Thieves.  The project is described as being in the vein of Pirates of the Caribbean and Guardians of the Galaxy (already this one’s a point of reference?), and is envisioned as “an adventure movie with strong comedic undertones.”  Hit the jump to find out which actors have been testing for the lead role.

forty-thieves-liam-hemsworthPer The Wrap, The Hunger Games alum Liam Hemsworth, former Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens, and American Horror Story alum Evan Peters (who also played scene-stealer Quicksilver in X-Men: Days of Future Past) are testing for the role of Allen, the young male lead who may be the “Ali Baba” in this new iteration of the tale.

While Levy initially got his start directing comedies like Cheaper by the Dozen and Just Married, he moved into the franchise realm with the Night at the Museum series.  He made a foray into sci-fi with 2011’s Real Steel and added a bit of an action bent to the 2010 comedy Date Night, and so a large-scale adventure take on Ali Baba actually seems like a sensible next step in his career.  I did genuinely enjoy most of This Is Where I Leave You, though, so I hope that he doesn’t leave the character-centric dramedy genre behind for long.

The Wrap has no details regarding the screenwriter or a production start date for Forty Thieves so it’s a bit unclear if this film will be Levy’s next project or if it’s simply in development.  He is expected to also produce the feature through his 21 Laps banner.  Levy’s next feature is Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, which also stars Stevens and opens in theaters next month.

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