universe's most wanted

Dave Bautista is playing yet another intergalactic adventurer in the “irreverent” sci-fi thriller Universe’s Most WantedSan Andreas and Rampage filmmaker Brad Peyton is set to direct and produce the big-budget sci-fi film.

Collider reports that Dave Bautista is going from one ragtag gang of cosmic criminals to another. The Guardians of the Galaxy star has signed on to produce and star in the “irreverent” sci-fi fantasy movie Universe’s Most Wanted, from director Brad Peyton, whose other directing credits include Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore.

F. Scott Frazier and Jimmy Loweree penned the script, which takes place in a “small town that’s in for a big surprise — and a fight for the world’s survival — when a spaceship carrying the universe’s most wanted and dangerous criminals crash-lands in their backyard. The sheriff’s son soon becomes a hero when he finds himself helping an intergalactic peacekeeper (Bautista) to keep the ragtag group of alien prisoners from escaping and taking over the world.”

Peyton will direct and produce the big-budget film under his ASAP Entertainment banner along with Jeff Fierson, while Bautista will produce via his company Dream Bros Entertainment along with Jonathan Meisner.

“Jeff and I are incredibly excited to be teaming up with Dave, Jonathan and AGC on this project,” Peyton said in a statement. “Scott and Jimmy are terrific writers and have conceived of the perfect sci-fi tentpole that fits perfectly into ASAP’s brand and my directing sensibilities. We couldn’t be more thrilled to get going on Universe’s Most Wanted! This is the type of fun, mysterious and irreverent adventure we all need right now.”

Bautista’s acting career has been one of exciting and radical choices, especially for a former WWE fighter — with Bautista charting a far more interesting early career than fellow former pro-fighters like Dwayne Johnson and John Cena. Bautista broke out big with his role in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy and has been showing up regularly in high-concept sci-fi films ever since, with a transformative small role in Blade Runner 2049, and an upcoming reunion with his Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve in the upcoming Warner Bros. tentpole Dune. Bautista also stars in Zack Snyder’s zombie heist movie for Netflix, Army of the Dead. Bautista has clearly found a home in sci-fi, though this team-up with Peyton may result in his most mainstream appeal since he trained a kid to be a spy.

Production for Universe’s Most Wanted is slated to start in the spring, and Stuart Ford’s AGC Studios and CAA Media Finance will start worldwide sales in the coming weeks.

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