Dwayne Johnson is part of one of the highest earning movies of the year, he’s got Ballers coming to HBO in June, he’s voicing a character in Disney’s Moana and he’s playing Black Adam in Shazam, but apparently he can handle more than that. According to THR, DreamWorks just won a bidding war for a project called Alpha Squad Seven with Johnson attached to star.
The pitch comes from Jeremiah Friedman and Nick Palmer. We don’t have any specific plot details yet, but the film’s being described as a “four-quadrant action-comedy adventure set in space.” Apparently things really got going when Friedman and Palmer took their one-line idea to Beau Flynn and Wendy Jacobson of FlynnPictureCo. less than two weeks ago. After that, the group approached Johnson, he signed on and then his own banner, 7 Bucks Productions, fast-tracked development. A bunch of studios bid on the idea, but it came down to Paramount and DreamWorks, with DreamWorks coming out on top after “acting aggressively to nab it.”
It also looks as though Liam Neeson is about to pick up another project. As reported by THR, Neeson is currently in final negotiations to lock the lead role in a terrorist-themed thriller called A Willing Patriot. Should the deal close, Neeson will play a CIA agent who finds himself in the middle of “an elaborate cat-and-mouse game with a sinister terrorist planning an imminent attack. He’ll risk everything, including his own life, to stop his foe and avenge his mysterious past.”
Martin Zandvliet is set to direct with Marc Butan‘s MadRiver Pictures fully financing and producing the film. Here’s what Butan had to say about uniting Zandvliet and Neeson:
“Liam Neeson is one of the defining actors of our generation and audiences will love him in this role. After seeing Martin’s new film Land of Mine, we knew he was an incredible storyteller and the perfect match to collaborate with Liam.”
CAA is handling the domestic rights to A Willing Patriot and is expected to announce a deal for a wide release in the US during Cannes.