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 »

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With Ruben Fleischer‘s Gangster Squad hitting theaters today, Warner Bros. is squeezing in one last extended trailer. Based on true events, the drama follows a special force of LAPD officers who are tasked with breaking the mob’s iron grip on the city of Los Angeles. The new three-minute promo offers looks at Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling‘s incorruptible cops, but it mostly highlights Sean Penn‘s scenery-chewing performance as gangster king Mickey Cohen. Watch it after the jump.

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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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In a world where the Aurora Massacre didn’t take place, Gangster Squad would be now completing its theatrical run. Instead we’re just getting the film’s second trailer. Director Ruben Fleischer‘s period action film starring Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling was delayed after its climax was deemed too similar to July’s tragedy, demanding a full-on reshoot. The new footage is in the can now, and it’s full steam head towards release on January 11, 2013.

The latest trailer does hint at what changes were made but mostly focuses on the renegade group of law enforcers who aim to take down a big time gangster. Check it out below along with the new poster. Read More »

There’s a lot going on in Paolo Sorrentino‘s This Must Be the Place: Sean Penn plays a washed-up former rock star named Cheyenne… who has serious issues with his dying father… who was on the hunt for a Nazi who once tortured him… so naturally Cheyenne takes it upon himself to pick up where his dad left off. Mixed reviews out of Cannes suggested that the odd combination doesn’t quite gel, but Penn’s usual dedication to the role could make the film worth watching just for his performance.

Another new trailer has dropped for the film, which shows off the stellar soundtrack by the Talking Heads and Iggy Pop. Watch it after the jump.

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Next year, not only will Sean Penn and Josh Brolin go toe to toe in Gangster Squad, Penn will likely direct Brolin in a tale of family and survival. Penn is set to helm a film called Crazy For The Storm, based on the memoirs of Norman Ollestad and Brolin is now in talks to star.

When Ollestad was 11-years-old, he was in a plane crash that killed three people, including his father, and left him stranded on a snowy mountaintop. Using the skills his father taught him, he was able to survive and escape. Brolin would play the father. Read more about the story and movie below. Read More »

Five years after Into the Wild, Sean Penn is finally getting ready to get back into the director’s chair. As of last fall, he was set to direct The Comedian with stars Robert De Niro and Kristen Wiig, but it looks now like his next project could instead be another inspired-by-true-events survival drama.

Penn has entered talks to help Crazy for the Storm, based on Norman Ollestad‘s memoir about his complicated relationship with his daredevil father. When Ollestad was 11, he was involved in a plane crash that killed the elder Ollestad and left the younger Ollestad stranded alone on a mountain during a blizzard. Ollestad credits his father’s teachings for helping him survive the incident.

Penn is only looking to direct the picture, not star in it. Nor will he pen the screenplay, as he has for some of his previous projects; Will Fetters, who last scripted the Zac Efron weepie The Lucky One, is already on board to adapt the story. Variety reports that Penn was always Warner Bros.’ first choice for the pic, though the studio considered a handful of other filmmakers including Alfonso Cuarón.

After the jump, Hot Tub Time Machine director Steve Pink eyes the remake of About Last Night…

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After starting life as a project that Warner Bros. was very gung-ho to make, and quickly roping in a cast that includes Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, and Sean Penn, Ruben Fleischer‘s film Gangster Squad is in a difficult position. The movie tells a fictionalized account of LA cops attempting to stop the incursion of organized crime into Los Angeles during the 1940s. Part of the climax of the film features a scene in which mobsters fire at a theater full of moviegoers, shooting out into the auditorium from behind the screen, as pictured in the trailer.

In the wake of the horrific shooting at an Aurora, CO screening of The Dark Knight Rises, Warner Bros. wisely pulled the trailer from theaters last Friday. But the studio is considering taking a more dramatic step: delaying, and potentially even recutting the movie.

Update: Variety announces that Warner Bros. will remove the theater shootout from Gangster Squad, and that the film will undergo some reshoots. Original article follows.

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