Mike Fleming

Sony Pictures has acquired Shadow Runner, a pitch for an action thriller that will star Thor’s Chris Hemsworth. Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson will produce through the Contrafilm banner with ROAR’s Will Ward. Studio’s keeping the fictional project under wraps, but this deal has taken awhile to come together, and its original genesis was an idea by Drive scribe Hossein Amini. The inspiration was an incident in which an Israeli assassination team targeted a Hamas leader whom the Israelis believe murdered several soldiers and helped stockpile Iranian-made missiles. He was tracked to Dubai, and the Israelis managed to smuggle in an entire 17-person hit team to take him out in the corridor of a five-star hotel. The operatives were captured on a hotel security camera trailing after the victim, reemerging and getting on the elevator after he was killed. I’m told that the film won’t replicate those events, but Hemsworth will lead an elite team of operatives who take on impossible tasks. Amini will be exec producer.

“We think the story is a terrific action thriller for Chris Hemsworth and we know this project is in great hands with Tripp, Beau and Will as they develop the film,” said Columbia Pictures production president Hannah Minghella.

Hemsworth’s stock is rising after the Kenneth Branagh-directed Thor grossed $437 million worldwide. Universal then set him to join Kristin Stewart and Charlize Theron in Snow White and the Huntsman. Amini’s recent scripting credits include the Nicolas Winding Refn-directed Ryan Gosling-starrer Drive, which premiered in competition at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, and 47 Ronin, the Carl Rinsch-directed Universal Pictures action film that stars Keanu Reeves. Hemsworth is repped by IFA and ROAR, Amini by WME.

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