The Killer movie adaptation

Don’t worry, not *that* The Killer. While someone will eventually remake John Woo’s Hong Kong film of the same name, this is about Pierre Morel (District B13, Taken) directing an adaptation of the Victor the Assassin book series by Tom Wood. The first book in the series was released as The Killer in the US (it’s called The Hunter in the UK) and follows — see if this makes sense — an assassin named Victor. Read More »

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Sean Penn 1

Aging action stars are a pretty common sight nowadays, whether it’s Liam Neeson in Taken, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Expendables, or Bruce Willis in everything. But Sean Penn? Who’d have thought?

Though the actor’s never demonstrated much interest in heading up his own action franchise, he’s set to do just that with Pierre Morel‘s The Gunman. Penn stars as a soldier trying to escape his violent past — a process which, naturally, involves still more violence. Get the first glimpse at his beefed-up, gun-toting character after the jump.

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Idris Elba

Fans of The Wire have long insisted that Idris Elba was destined for A-list stardom — indeed, that in a just world, he’d be a household name already. And while he’s not quite there yet, he seems to be inching closer and closer.

His latest new gig, in the politcally inclined action-thriller Gunman, puts him in the company of director Pierre Morel (Taken) and stars Sean Penn and Javier Bardem. Jasmine Trinca was also recently added to the cast. Hit the jump to learn more about their roles.

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The Transporter cinematographer and District B13 director Pierre Morel broke big with Taken and then retreated back to the action cheese of From Paris With Love. But next he’ll direct an unexpected actor in a new action/thriller. Sean Penn is now set to star in Morel’s adaptation of the thriller novel Prone Gunman.

Peter Travis (Dredd) adapts the 1981 novel by the late Jean-Patrick Manchette. The film version of the tale will feature a covert op who is betrayed and must rely on his skills to survive as he is hunted across Europe. The direction of Morel makes this seem like it could have more in common with Penn’s work in Gangster Squad than the more serious work the actor has delved into for many years. But if the film holds true to the book it could be a bit more unusual. Read More »

There’s a lot of new stuff to get through in today’s TV Bits, so let’s get right to it. After the jump:

  • AMC and Dish settle legal dispute; AMC resumes airing on Dish
  • Why The Walking Dead ended up at AMC instead of HBO or NBC
  • NBC euthanizes Animal Practice and brings back Whitney
  • Louis C.K. lines up his Saturday Night Live hosting debut
  • Taken director Pierre Morel will work on NBC pilot After Hours
  • Pitch Perfect helmer Jason Moore will direct ABC’s Trophy Wife
  • Brendan Fraser heads to TNT for the drama pilot Legends
  • Andy Samberg joins Mike Schur and Dan Goor‘s new comedy
  • Craig Robinson lands the lead in Greg Daniels‘ NBC sitcom
  • Arrested Development re-hires Carl Weathers, gets a documentary
  • Check out Dany, Ser Jorah, and more on Game of Thrones‘ Qarth set

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Ken Jeong has built up a respectable career as a supporting actor, most notably on NBC’s Community and the Hangover films, but for his next movie role he’ll be moving a little closer to the spotlight. Jeong is set to star in and produce The Chung Factor, which landed on the 2005 Black List back when it was titled The Ex-Factor. Andy Selsor‘s screenplay revolves around a nice guy who falls in love with a woman, but begins to worry he’ll screw things up and employs an “offbeat” relationship coach (Jeong). Unfortunately, said coach turns out to be the woman’s ex, who wants to win her back and is actively trying to ruin the nice guy’s chances.

It’s great to see the talented and funny Jeong nabbing some bigger parts, but I kind of wish he’d chosen to play the romantic lead. The villain here sounds like he fits a little too comfortably into Jeong’s repertoire of mean weirdos — it would’ve been nice to see him stretch a bit more. [The Wrap]

After the jump, Daenerys Targaryen considers joining Éomer and Prince Caspian as they steal cars in France, while Katheryn Winnick nabs a starring role opposite America’s Trainwreck Charlie Sheen.

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Briefly: Taken director Pierre Morel is following Luc Besson in to the action thriller producing game, and he’s got his first effort set up, with everyone’s new favorite actor on board. Overdrive is about a couple of handsome car thieves, and will star Alex Pettyfer and Matthew Goode. Antonio Negret, who directed Transit for producer Joel Silver, will direct. Read More »

In the pantheon of Big Difficult Adaptations, Frank Herbert‘s novel Dune has stood tall for years. Efforts to make a film in the ’70s stalled, and a film version nearly defeated David Lynch in the early ’80s. (Some, including David Lynch, might say that it did defeat him.) The mini-series adaptation in 2000 can be considered good only by those who judge quality by how many details from the source are crammed onto the screen, and efforts to make a film version since then have resulted in many script drafts, but no actual film.

Paramount has held the rights to Dune for some time, with the project passing through the hands of multiple screenwriters and directors, but now the studio’s option has lapsed. The rights have reverted to Richard P. Rubenstein, the liaison to the Frank Herbert estate and ABC. Read More »

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