Director Pierre Morel is looking to helm yet another action-thriller. Heat Vision reports that the Taken director is in talks to direct the thriller adaptation of Jean-Patrick Manchette’s novel Prone Gunman. Penned by Peter Travis (Dredd), the film will star Sean Penn as an international operative who is betrayed by his organization and led on a cat-and-mouse chase across Europe. Joel Silver is producing, and the pic is being set up as a potential action franchise for the Oscar-winning Penn.
Production is looking to begin this spring in several European locations. Morel has experience in turning veteran actors into action stars, as Taken launched Liam Neeson into a career that’s now full of action thrillers. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of the novel.
Taken director Pierre Morel has lined up a new international action film. Heat Vision reports that Morel is in talks to helm the tantalizingly named The Hitman’s Bodyguard. The story centers on a protection agent who is tasked with guarding a hitman awaiting a chance “to testify against a war criminal and ex-head of state of an Eastern European country.” The success of the “opposites interact” project will likely depend on what actors are cast in the two leads. Tom O’Connor (Fire with Fire) wrote the script.
Since Taken, Morel has only directed one other feature, 2010’s From Paris with Love. He was previously attached to helm the international thriller Bastille Day, but is apparently no longer involved with that project. He’s also on the shortlist of directors that Sony is eyeing for the Denzel Washington-fronted adaptation of the CBS series The Equalizer.
Sony Pictures is getting a move-on with the feature film adaptation of the 1980s CBS crime series The Equalizer. Denzel Washington has been set to star as far back as last December, and Sony is hoping to make the film the first in a franchise. The TV series centered on a former covert operations officer who dedicated his life to helping people in trouble. The film will retain that main conceit, but is only loosely based on the show. Deadline reports that an April 8th start date has been set for the feature, most likely in Boston, but the next order of business is finding a director. Hit the jump to see who’s landed on Sony’s shortlist.
Director Pierre Morel has been set to helm the actioner Bastille Day. Vendome Pictures and Anonymous Content announced today that they will be producing the film from a screenplay by Andrew Baldwin. The story centers on “a young American artist living in Paris and a washed up CIA agent who together are tasked with diverting an imminent attack on the city.” Morel is no stranger to international thrillers as he previously helmed the “Liam Neeson is a badass” film Taken. He most recently directed the decidedly less awesome actioner From Paris with Love starring John Travolta.
Baldwin has been a hot screenwriter as of late, gaining notice for his Black List script The West Is Dead. He’s been working on the script for the Logan’s Run remake for director Nicholas Winding Refn and Warner Bros. is moving forward with his period Yakuza pic The Outsider with Daniel Espinosa (Safe House) attached to direct. Hit the jump to read the full press release concerning Bastille Day.
Two months after his Dune adaptation collapsed, Taken director Pierre Morel has set up his next movie as a producer, the action thriller Overdrive. Variety reports Alex Pettyfer (I Am Number Four) and Matthew Goode (Leap Year) as “a pair of handsome and adventurous brothers, known for being high-profile car thieves, who travel to the South of France looking for new challenges and come across a tough local crime boss.” Antonio Negret, the Colombian filmmaker who just finished shooting Transit, will direct Overdrive. Michael Brandt and Derek Haas (Wanted) will write the script. The $30 million production should get in front of cameras later this summer for a planned summer 2012 release.
Read quotes from the producers after the jump.
After four years of development, Paramount has given up the rights to adapting Frank Herbert’s best-selling sci-fi novel Dune. The studio and the rights holders came to a mutual agreement to let the rights lapse, relieving the studio of trying to get the film made. Director Peter Berg (Hancock) was originally attached to direct, but subsequently dropped out. A year ago, Taken director Pierre Morel signed on to take over directorial duties, with screenwriter Chase Palmer (also from Taken) rewriting a previous draft of the script by Josh Zetumer (Quantum of Solace). Richard P. Rubinstein, who controls the rights to Dune had this to say via Deadline:
“Paramount’s option has expired and we couldn’t reach an agreement. I’m going to look at my options, and whether I wind up taking the script we developed in turnaround, or start over, I’m not sure yet.”
Hit the jump for what this means for Dune and more on Rubinstein’s plans moving forward.
Though many have been considered, Universal’s Ouija adaptation is still without a director. McG (Terminator Salvation) and Breck Eisner (The Crazies) are the latest to vie for the job, having presented their cinematic take on the supernatural board game to Universal executives over the past two weeks. The studio still has time to be choosy, with a script in place from Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (Tron: Legacy). There is an implicit deadline to pick a director, though, with a set release date of November 9, 2012.
Hit the jump for some background information on the board game and how Universal intends to make it a movie.
Pierre Morel (Taken), the last of the frontrunners to direct Ouija, presented his take on the project to Universal earlier today. The studio has already seen the interpretations of Sylvain White (The Losers) and Scott Charles Stewart (Legion). Universal is reportedly banking on Ouija’s potential to become a supernatural action-adventure franchise. (Think Final Destination meets Jumanji.) It shouldn’t be long before an official announcement is made as to who will helm the Hasbro product adaptation.
Recently, Morel unburdened himsel from directing the Dune remake, seemingly making the Ouija project a priority. If it doesn’t work out, he has other projects to fall back on: Heat Vision reports Morel is in talks to direct Sam Raimi production of EDF (aka Earth Defense Force), in which the nations of the world unite to defend against an extraterrestrial threat. Oh, and then there’s the upcoming sequel to Morel’s action-packed Taken, which you may have heard about.
Hit the jump for a breakdown of what the spirits have told us about Ouija so far.
According to Deadline, Ouija, the film based on the Hasbro game popular among youth and cult worshipers alike, has three chief candidates vying for the director’s chair: The Losers director Sylvain White, Taken director Pierre Morel (which we reported on here), and Priest helmer Scott Stewart. A winner is suspected to emerge within the next couple weeks.
Ouija is one of three upcoming tentpole films with its origins stemming from a Hasbro product, with Peter Berg’s Battleship – which recently scored Liam Neeson as a Navy admiral – set for a May 18th, 2012 release and Rob Letterman’s Stretch Armstrong – with Taylor Lautner attached to star - likely to go before lenses sometime in 2013. Ouija is penciled in for a Thanksgiving 2012 release. Hasbro and Platinum Dunes will be co-financing the picture with Universal. Info on the Ouija Board and my thoughts on the candidates after the jump.
Pierre Morel (Taken) is the lead candidate to direct the Platinum Dunes film based on the Ouija board. The negotiations are still fresh, and there are other (unspecified) names up for the job, but Universal believes the French filmmaker has what it takes to bring this inherently plotless property to the big screen.
According to 24 Frames, the studio hopes to turn Ouija into an action-adventure tentpole — presumably one with franchise potential. Morel is busy with his own large-scale actioner, undertaking an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel Dune. Meanwhile, Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (Lost) are busy polishing the Ouija script, and Universal’s attention is divided amongst a number of toy-based movies: Battleship, Stretch Armstrong, Monopoly, Candy Land, and Clue. Hit the jump for some background information on the Ouija board.
Chase Palmer has been hired to write director Pierre Morel’s (Taken, From Paris With Love) version of Dune at Paramount. According to THR, Palmer will be working with Morel to stick close to the original source material, which is the 1965 classic book by Frank Herbert. As most of you know, David Lynch took a crack at Dune back in 1984 at Universal.
It’s important to note while Palmer has been hired to write the script, that doesn’t mean Dune is moving in front of the cameras anytime soon. With what has to be a huge budget and complicated source material to adapt, many have tried to get Dune off the ground with little success (Peter Berg). Just because a hot director wants to make the film, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. It’s going to take a lot of happy studio executives and some big name stars to get this thing rolling. More as we hear it.
Opening this Friday is director Pierre Morel’s new movie From Paris With Love. While the film looks like your standard action flick, Morel’s last movie was Taken, and that was kind of awesome. Also, Luc Besson wrote the story. What I’m trying to say is…I’m interested in checking this film out, even though John Travolta’s one of the leads. Sorry John…it’s been awhile since I’ve cared about any of your movies.
Anyway, to help promote the film, we’ve been given 3 clips and you can watch them after the jump:
Yesterday, we brought you news that director Pierre Morel (Taken) had signed up to direct Dune and now Lionsgate has released another explosion heavy trailer for his upcoming action film, From Paris With Love. Written by Morel and Luc Besson (Leon: The Professional), the film stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers as a low-ranking intelligence operative working in the office of the U.S. Ambassador in France who takes on more than he bargained for when he partners up with a wisecracking, fast-shooting, high-ranking U.S. agent (John Travolta) who’s been sent to Paris to stop a terrorist attack. If you’re looking for some explosions, you’ll want to check the trailer out.
You can check out two new images and a few posters after the jump.
After Peter Berg jumped ship on the Dune remake back in October so he could make Battleship, Paramount has been looking for a new director to get the project back on track. EW’s Hollywood Insider says they have found their man in Taken director Pierre Morel. Morel, whose next film From Paris with Love is schedule to hit theaters on February 5th, plans to make a very faithful adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 classic sci-fi novel. Paramount is now in the process of hiring a new writer to blend Morel’s vision for the film with the original draft penned by Quantum of Solace screenwriter Josh Zetumer.
French director Pierre Morel has been tapped by Universal to helm an action-thriller they’re developing called “Pursuit”. With the success of “Taken” Morel became one of the only directors to helm a profitable film in the “action-thriller” genre this year – making him a smart choice for any studio that likes big profits and moderate budgets. More after the jump…