Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: While Focus Features has an early panel today at Comic-Con to unveil its family-themed ghoulish animated film Paranorman, the indie studio has just closed a deal for Gerardo Naranjo to direct A Man Must Die. Naranjo, who helmed the Mexican film Miss Bala, wrote the script for the drama which is a political thriller along the lines of Carlos. Pablo Cruz is producing.

This comes as 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment continue to develop the J. Mills Goodloe-scripted adaptation of the Charles Martin novel The Mountain Between Us, for Naranjo to direct and for Michael Fassbender to star. That film combines a tale of survival with a love story. Ashley is a writer catching a flight from Salt Lake City and heading East for her wedding. Ben is a doctor returning from a medical conference. When a their flight is cancelled due to a broken de-icer, the strangers agree to charter a ride, only to see the pilot suffer a heart attack and crash into a desolate snowy mountain region. He breaks ribs and she suffers a leg fracture but it turns out the doc is an avid climber, and as he struggles to get her down from the mountain in harsh weather, she begins to realize that maybe she was headed to marry the wrong guy.

All this action was the result of Miss Bala, which was Mexico’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar submission, about an innocent teenager who heads to the Mexican border city of Tijuana and inadvertently gets caught up in a violent drug war on her way to compete in the Miss Baja California beauty pageant. Naranjo is repped by CAA.