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 »

It seems like just about every aging actor is angling for their own action franchise nowadays, whether it’s the geriatric warriors of the Expendables and Red films, Liam Neeson in the Taken movies, Bruce Willis in the ongoing Die Hard saga, or Kevin Costner with the upcoming Jack Ryan reboot. But we probably wouldn’t have guessed that Sean Penn would be one of them.

Penn has entered negotiations for Prone Gunman, an action thriller envisioned as the first in a potential series. This is still Penn we’re talking about, however, so Prone Gunman isn’t just another mindless pulse-pounder. It’s an adaptation of a novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette, a French noir writer with an interest in leftist politics and the human condition. More details after the jump.

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