universe's most wanted

Dave Bautista is tracking down the Universe’s Most Wanted. The Army of the Dead star is starring in a new action adventure flick directed by Rampage helmer Brad Peyton, which has recently been acquired by STXfilms.

As one of the stars of Guardians of the Galaxy, Dave Bautista knows a thing or two about aliens, so why not hunt them? That’s what he’ll be doing in his newest feature film project, Universe’s Most Wanted, a sci-fi adventure movie directed by Brad Peyton, who has helmed disaster flicks like Rampage and San Andreas.

Bautista stars as an “intergalactic peacekeeper” who is hunting a group of ragtag alien prisoners in a film that has been newly acquired by STXfilms, which last teamed up with the actor for the action-comedy My Spy, which was an apparent streaming hit for Amazon and is currently having a sequel developed. Peyton will direct a script by F. Scott Frazier (xXx: Return of Xander Cage) and Jimmy Loweree.

Here’s the synopsis for Universe’s Most Wanted, via the press release:

In Universe’s Most Wanted, a small town gets a big surprise when a spaceship carrying the universe’s most wanted and dangerous criminals crash lands in their backyard. Soon the sheriff and his son become heroes when they find themselves helping an intergalactic peacekeeper (Bautista) to keep the ragtag group of alien prisoners from escaping and taking over the world.

The movie sounds slightly smaller-scale than Peyton’s last few movies, both of which are disaster movies of the near-global scale (Rampage threw in a monster movie twist, too). Not that this isn’t big — it’s still a huge bombastic sci-fi action flick — but the small-town setting and the “ragtag” group sounds comparatively refreshing. And Bautista in the leading man role is a great sell, even if the movies around him aren’t always as great as he is.

“When I first read Scott and Jimmy’s script, I was sold, as it’s the exact type of big, fun sci-fi tentpole I’ve been looking to do,” Peyton said. “What struck me the most was how much heart it had and how much nostalgia it triggered. It reminds me of the great Amblin movies of my childhood. Dave agreeing to play the lead was the icing on the cake.”

Peyton will also produce Universe’s Most Wanted via his production company ASAP Entertainment, along with ASAP’s Jeff Fierson. In addition to starring, Bautista will produce via his production company Dream Bros Entertainment, along with Dream Bros’ Jonathan Meisner. The film will also be produced by AGC Studios’ Stuart Ford. AGC’s Miguel Palos Jr. and Linda McDonough are executive producing alongside Carsten Lorenz.

Universal’s Most Wanted is currently in pre-production and is scheduled to begin shooting in Melbourne, Australia in late July.

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