Neil Marshall to Direct Hugh Jackman in Drive

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His recent, loud homage to Mad Max and killer viruses, Doomsday, was mostly ignored and deflated quickly at the box office, but genre director Neil Marshall is still going strong. He’s now attached to his second project of the month, an L.A.-set action mystery vehicle for Hugh Jackman at Universal entitled Drive that looks to be his next film. An adaptation of author James Sallis‘s neo-noir of the same name, Jackman will star as a Hollywood stunt driver who enjoys a double-life as a getaway man for robberies. In the book, one of the heists backfires and Jackman’s character earns a bounty on his life.

“This is something I haven’t done before, and I’ve wanted to bring a British sensibility to an L.A. shoot and a scorched classic film noir concept,” Marshall told Variety. “Hoss is a fantastic writer, and he’s written three amazing car chases in the film. He’s turned them into dramatic scenes as opposed to the usual crash, bang, wallop. I would like to be shooting it this summer.”

Last week it was announced that Marshall will also direct Sacrilege, a Western horror flick that he ambitiously described as “Unforgiven by way of H.P. Lovecraft,” with a dash of The Thing. Drive was adapted by Hossein Amini, who wrote The Golden Compass sequel The Subtle Knife as well as the long-delayed Elmore Leonard crime adaptation Killshot (um, IMDB says it’s due April ’08).

I’m curious what Marshall means by bringing a “British sensibility” to L.A. for Drive. His currently has one of the more active mid-level fanboy-centric careers in the industry right now, and it will be interesting to see if he continues to build on the promise seen with The Descent or if he goes the way of a Simon West.

Discuss: Drive or Sacrilege, which sounds cooler? If you skipped it, why did you miss Doomsday? What didn’t grab you about it? If you saw it, worth the ticket?

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