Universal is Working on a ‘Safe House’ Sequel

Briefly: David Guggenheim went from US Weekly editor to big-time screenwriter thanks in part to his script for what became the Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds thriller Safe House. And now Universal has set him to write another one.

THR has the news, and says that Reynolds would likely return, though a deal hasn’t been made. Working Denzel Washington into the sequel will be more difficult, though THR’s sources say Universal wants him. Which makes sense, as audiences like Denzel. But it doesn’t make sense to anyone who saw the first film. Could be a prequel then — but if so, the involvement of Reynolds doesn’t make much sense, as the setup for his character was of a young, inexperienced CIA agent.

No word on the involvement, or lack thereof, of original Safe House director Daniel Espinosa. Guggenheim, meanwhile, also wrote Stolen, the rather terrible-looking Nicolas Cage movie, and Narco Sub, which was going to be a Tony Scott film before the director’s passing.

 

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Briefly: Yesterday we told you about Candy Store, the crime thriller script that Syriana writer/director Stepen Gaghan is set to make as his next feature. Brad Pitt and Denzel Washington may end up in the film’s two lead roles, and now we know that the production wants Christoph Waltz, too. Even better, in the same report that tags Watlz as a hopeful (an offer is out to the actor) The Wrap details some of he plot, so we’ve got a better idea of what to exect from the film.

The film follows “an elite, highly trained deep-cover operative who loses everything, ultimately disappearing into Brooklyn, where he must start again. He washes up as a beat cop, only to discover the global organization he was dedicated to fighting is also operating in his new backyard.” That’s gotta sting. The role for which Pitt is sought is Mark Swain, and in the event he doesn’t bite there is a long list of popular actors that producers are ready to approach: Christian Bale, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Bradley Cooper.

Waltz would play a guy named Black Zenga, which sounds like a villain role if I’ve ever heard one.

Stephen Gaghan, who wrote Traffic and directed Syriana, is now set to direct the thriller Candy Store for LionsGate. The film is a crime thriller for which we have few details, but the names might be all you need to know: Brad Pitt and Denzel Washington have started to circle the two lead roles. Read More »

A script that finds serious studio favor can push a project from long-simmering development into full boil, and that seems to have happened with Sony and The Equalizer. Based on the TV series in which Edward Woodward played a former covert ops expert who donates his services to people in trouble, the film will star Denzel Washington as a new version of the title character.

Richard Wenk recently turned in a new script draft, and Sony likes it enough to push for an April 2013 start date, with a shoot likely to take place in Boston. Some details about the new Equalizer are after the break. Read More »

After years spent directing mo-capped animated films, Robert Zemeckis has returned to live-action with Flight. The film casts Denzel Washington as an airline captain who lands a plane that is about to crash, only to be forced to face his own demons as the investigation into the crash goes on.

This is a pretty thrilling trailer, as it intercuts moments from the crash and its aftermath with the fallout that takes place afterward. And Denzel’s particular brand of cocky command is just right for a capable pilot. I hope this film pushes him out of the comfort zone he’s been in for a while; the trailer suggests it might. It also seems to give a lot away, so we’ll hope it is less revealing than it first appears. Read More »

Those who’ve waited patiently through his mo-cap phase for Robert Zemeckis to return to live-action filmmaking now have a date to mark on their calendars. Paramount has set his pilot drama Flight for a fall release date, shifting Seth Rogen and Barbara Streisand‘s family comedy The Guilt Trip (formerly My Mother’s Curse) to a holiday opening in the process. More details after the jump.

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Frankly, I’m surprised it has taken so long for this to happen. In the early to mid-’70s Bill Cosby did three films with Sidney Poitier (who also directed) called Uptown Saturday Night, Let’s Do It Again, and A Piece of the Action. The films aren’t exactly related in a narrative sense — they feature different characters, in different cities — but are clearly related in that they feature Cosby, Poitier and great supporting casts having a hell of a time in comedy/caper stories.

Now Adam McKay, director of Anchorman, is in talks to remake Uptown Saturday Night, with hopes for Will Smith and Denzel Washington as the stars. Smith has been trying to remake all three films for a decade now, and maybe it is finally about to happen. Read More »

Mark Wahlberg‘s 2 Guns might have just gotten a huge boost in the person of Denzel Washington. Deadline reports the Oscar-winner, whose latest action film Safe House opens this week, is in talks to join the Baltasar Kormakur-directed film, based on a graphic novel by Steven Grant. 2 Guns sounds like a cousin of The Departed as it’s about an undercover Navel intelligence officer and DEA agent who are both investigating each other. Read more after the jump. Read More »

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