Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Ryan Reynolds has been set to star in Queen Of The Night, a psychological thriller that Atom Egoyan will direct next February in Ontario. Egoyan wrote the story, and scripted the film with David Fraser. Reynolds plays the father who discovers a series of disturbing clues eight years after his daughter is abducted, a trail that leads him to believe the now 17-year old girl is alive. He is determined to find her. The film is a co-production between the director’s Ego Film Arts and The Film Farm.

“I’m very excited about working with Ryan,” Egoyan said. “The richness of [Reynolds'] performances in such diverse films as Buried, Safe House and romantic fare such as The Proposal is extraordinary.” Egoyan just wrapped Devil’s Knot, a drama based on the bogus conviction of the West Memphis 3 for a triple homicide, despite the lack of any physical evidence. That film stars Reese Witherspoon, Colin Firth, Mireille Enos and Alessandro Nivola.

Reynolds, who last starred in Safe House and had a wordless cameo in the Seth MacFarlane-directed Ted, called Egoyan “a provocative filmmaker [whose] films demand that we face what is most complex in our own psyches. Chloe, Felicia’s Journey and The Sweet Hereafter all possess the unique and careful touch of a true artist. I look forward to collaborating with him on this project and having an opportunity to observe his innovative directing style first hand.”

Reynolds has wrapped R.I.P.D. with Jeff Bridges, and though no deal has been made, he is Summit Entertainment’s choice to play the sword-wielding immortal Highlander in the remake that Juan Carlos Fresnadillo will direct. I’m wondering when Fox will move forward with the Reynolds vehicle Deadpool, the X-Men spinoff film based on the character introduced in Wolverine. That film has vfx wiz Tim Miller aboard to direct a script by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick that became a fanboy favorite when it leaked online. Reynolds will play Wade Wilson, a smart-mouthed mercenary with terminal cancer who undergoes military experiments in an attempt to replicate Wolverine’s mutant healing factor. He comes away with the ability to heal quickly, but for the price of being indestructible he is rendered severely scarred. His acerbic attitude remains, though, earning him the nickname “The Merc with a Mouth.” Fox, busy with sequels to Wolverine and X-Men: First Class, hasn’t yet set a production start.

Egoyan is producing Queen Of The Night with Simone Urdl, Jennifer Weiss and Stephen Traynor. Distribution in Canada has been acquired by eOne, which will also handle international sales. ARP Selection has acquired the film for France. Reynolds is repped at CAA and lawyer David Weber, while Egoyan is repped by WME.

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