Simon West To Direct Protection With Dwayne Johnson

The action thriller Protection was once to have starred Paul Walker, then Clive Owen before he bowed out and Dwayne Johnson stepped in. Now, after the actor's shuffle, it has a new director. But the new director is actually the old director: Simon West, who was on the project when Walker was the star, then exited, has returned to direct the film.

A press release went out today saying that West is on board to shoot the film in New Mexico in the fall. He replaces District 13: Ultimatum helmer Patrick Alessandrin, who came onto the project when West left it some time ago. Weird turn of events.

As the press release says,

Johnson will star as 'Hombre' in the $35 million budgeted, high-octane tale of a mercenary Mexico City security operative forced to smuggle the daughter of an under-threat, high ranking judge and the judge's chief legal counsel across the border while being pursued by corrupt cops, drug lords and white collar U.S. criminal forces.  With PROTECTION, Johnson continues the return to his action roots, having just completed filming CBS Films' FASTER, which is scheduled for release this November.

We don't have any other cast details, likely because Johnson and West signed on as the first steps of getting the movie made — the nuts and bolts casting should start to follow now that they're moving forward.

The script is still the one by Brandon Noonan that has been the basis for the project all along. We've heard it is a strong script, and the fact that it hasn't yet gone through the rewrite mill suggests that...but it isn't too late for West or someone else to decide changes need to be made. More on this one as we get it.