EXCLUSIVE: UTA has signed British helmer Simon West and his producing partner Jib Polhemus. West is in post-production on Wild Card, William Goldman’s adaptation of his book that stars Jason Statham and Sofia Vergara, with Sierra/Affinity financing. This comes after West directed The Mechanic with Statham and Ben Foster, and The Expendables 2, with Statham and Sly Stallone leading the macho ensemble. West left Resolution, and became in play after the recent exits of Martin Spencer and Adam Kanter.
West also directed Con Air, The General’s Daughter, and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. He was exec producer on Black Hawk Down, and is re-teaming with that writer, Ken Nolan, to direct the adaptation of the David Zucchino book Thunder Run. West also works in TV, producing Fox’s Keen Eddie, CBS’s Close to Home, Fox’s Human Target and NBC’s The Cape. West and Polhemus continue to be lawyered by Barry Tyerman.
Here is an exclusive first look at Adam Rayner as Simon Templar. Rayner and Eliza Dushku topline the latest take on Leslie Charteris’ 70-book The Saint franchise. The backdoor pilot was directed by Simon West from a script by Jesse Alexander. Brad Krevoy’s film and TV production company MPCA is behind the project, which will be screened at MIPTV next week, with MPCA’s Francisco Gonzalez handling international sales. There is interest in the series from U.S. networks. Co-starring in The Saint are James Remar, Enrique Murciano, Thomas Kretschmann, Greg Grunberg and the two men who played the Templar in the previous two Saint TV series, Roger Moore and Ian Ogilvy.
EXCLUSIVE: Exactly fifty years after the premiere of the British spy series The Saint, a remake is picking up steam with a pilot directed by Simon West. British actor Adam Rayner has been cast in the title role made famous by Roger Moore in the original series. The remake, produced by Brad Krevoy, is not set at a network yet. Written/executive produced by Jesse Alexander (Heroes), it is slated to begin shooting a pilot later this month. In the project, debonair international thief Simon Templar (Rayner), a modern day Robin Hood, steals from rich criminals and keeps the loot for himself. A master of disguise, improvisation, martial arts, firearms and espionage and the quintessential English gentleman, he is hired by certain government agencies for special assignments. The completed pilot is expected to be shopped to networks. Read More »
Simon West has signed on to direct the remake of the 1987 Burt Reynolds movie Heat. The Expendables 2 director replaces Brian De Palma on the remake of the action film. Jason Statham, whom West directed in 2011′s The Mechanic, stars in the enforcer role that Reynolds played in the original. The screenplay is from William Goldman, who wrote the 1987 script from his novel. Steven Chasman will produce for SJ Pictures alongside Statham. Quad Films, whose credits include The Intouchables and Heart Breaker, are a co-producer on the film. Sierra/Affinity is handling international sales and has already made deals at AFM in territories including the UK, China, South America, Germany and Japan. Heat will start principal photography in February. West is repped by CAA.
Looking for nonstop action and lotsa kaboom? The new trailer for The Expendables 2 delivers. Look for Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis squeezed into a Smart car, among other small amusements. Directed by Simon West, it opens August 17.
LOS ANGELES – October 27, 2011 – Gerard Butler, Sam Worthington and Matthew McConaughey will star in Freedom Films’ upcoming action thriller “Thunder Run” with Simon West set to direct, announced Brian Presley, CEO of Freedom Films, who will produce alongside Carissa Buffel and Kevin Matusow of Freedom Films and Jib Polhemus of The Graphic Film Company. Additional casting will begin in the next week. Hyde Park International has signed on for international sales.
“Thunder Run,” is an all CG 3-D action thriller based on the novel “Thunder Run – The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent David Zucchino. Adapting the story for the screen are Academy Award-winner Robert Port and Ken Nolan, screenwriter of “Black Hawk Down.” The Graphic Film Company will utilize proprietary facial-capture technology they used on West’s upcoming “Night of the Living Dead: Origins 3-D” along with the motion capture technology used in “AVATAR.”
After The Expendables turned in a surprisingly strong $275 million worldwide gross, many have wondered what they would do for an encore. How’s this? Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis have just closed deals to take “substantial” roles in The Expendables 2, alongside Sylvester Stallone. This has been rumored as possible, and it basically answers the hopes of a lot of fans who weren’t satisfied when action icons Schwarzenegger and Willis turned in cameos in the original, and poked fun at the days when they were the world’s top action stars. Stallone directed the first one but stepped out and the job went to Simon West. Filming will begin in October, and Lionsgate will once again release the Millennium Films-produced actioner. Schwarzenegger and Willis are repped by CAA. Schwarzenegger is already working for Lionsgate in the Jee-Won Kim-directed action film Last Stand. Willis will squeeze in the role before going off to Russia to reprise his John McLane role in Die Hard 5, which just landed John Moore as director at Fox, and then he will make a sequel to Red. Aside from Stallone, original cast members Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Terry Crews and Jet Li are expected to return, and there is buzz about Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme. Do we need to start a petition for Jeff Speakman?
EXCLUSIVE: After a long search, Simon West is the choice to direct The Expendables 2, the sequel to the 2010 surprise hit action film. West, who most recently directed the CBS Films remake of The Mechanic with Jason Statham and Ben Foster, also directed Con Air, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and The General’s Daughter. Production begins in the summer.
The sequel is expected to have back an original cast that includes Sylvester Stallone, Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Terry Crews and Jet Li. Stallone directed the original, which grossed $275 million worldwide, $103 million domestic. The film’s produced by Millennium Films and will be released by Lionsgate. West is repped by CAA.
Lionsgate has acquired US distribution rights for three films backed by Stuart Ford’s IM Global. Each film has a one word title and falls into the hard core action genre. The first in the deal is Safe, a $30 million film that stars Jason Statham and is directed by Boaz Yakin, who wrote the action/thriller. The deal also included Dredd, the 3D adaptation of Judge Dredd that Deadline told you about last Cannes. Pete Travis is directing an Alex Garland script and Karl Urban plays Judge Dredd. The third film in the deal is Protection, a Simon West-directed action thriller that stars Dwayne Johnson. IM Global has been stepping it up since selling a majority stake to Reliance Big, and hiring former CAA independent sales agent Brian Kavanaugh Jones to launch Automatik, IM Global’s production joint venture with Alliance Pictures.