Vince Vaughn‘s Wild West Picture Show Productions has acquired the rights to Ridley Pearson‘s new novel The Risk Agent. Per Deadline, the China-set thriller features the characters of Grace Chu, a female forensic accountant, and John Knox, a combat/culture specialist. The duo must overcome their differences when they’re tasked with rescuing a Chinese National who goes missing on the streets of Shanghai. The novel is billed as the first entry in a new series by Pearson, so Vaughn could be eyeing this as a potential franchise. The story is a major departure for the actor, who has kept his leading roles to comedies ever since 2001′s Domestic Disturbance. I personally think a change-up is long overdue for Vaughn, who has not only stuck to comedies, but also to his fast-talking, know-it-all character that has grown increasingly tiresome over the years (although it plays well off of Jonah Hill‘s character in The Watch, which opens this Friday).
Vaughn is next set to co-star with Owen Wilson in the Shawn Levy-directed comedy, The Internship. We also reported last week that New Regency has picked up the pitch Gunslingers as a potential starring-vehicle for Vaughn. Hit the jump for a synopsis of Pearson’s novel.
A Chinese National working for an American-owned construction company is grabbed off the streets of Shanghai in broad daylight. His one-man security detail goes missing as well.
Rutherford Risk is a firm specializing in extraction: the negotiation for, and the recovery of hostages. Private investigation is illegal in today’s China. Operating within her borders will be difficult at best.
The security company recruits two unique outsiders to do their bidding. Grace Chu is a forensic accountant hired to follow the money; John Knox is a civilian with unparalleled training in both combat and culture. Grace’s top-notch American education and Chinese military service make her an unassuming, but effective, operative, while Knox’s take-no-prisoners attitude brings them perilously close to harm. Following the money leads to more complex – and dangerous – consequences than either anticipated. Who is actually behind the kidnapping? And more important, can Knox and Grace locate the two hostages ahead of the deadline?
Rich with the atmosphere of Shanghai and crackling with tension-filled suspense, Pearson’s latest introduces two compelling new characters—and heralds in the start of a brilliant new series. [Amazon]