How’s this for a pairing? Nicolai Fuglsig has lined found two leads in Michael Shannon and Chris Hemsworth for his directorial debut, Deadline reports. Jerry Bruckheimer and Black Label Media will produce the film, which is titled Horse Soldiers. Based on a true story and adapted by Peter Craig and Ted Tally from a book penned by Dough Staton, Horse Soldiers follows a U.S. special forces team sent to Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11, led by a captain untested in the field. The team was tasked with joining forces with a local Warload to drive out the Taliban, an effort that proved much harder than anticipated. Bruckheimer stated his excitement over the project, saying “I am so happy that we’re finally getting this great project off the ground with wonderful leading actors, Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon. It’s also great to be partnered with Molly Smith, Trent Luckinbill and Thad Luckinbill of Black Label Media, which is such a dynamic and exciting production company.” Hemsworth can be currently seen in the new Ghostbusters, while Shannon has a role in the upcoming Nocturnal Animals from director Tom Ford.
In more adaptation news, THR reports that the big-screen version of the bestselling novel Beautiful Ruins may have found a new director. Coming off his two-film stint as Bond director, Sam Mendes is now producing and possibly helming. Off a script penned by Noah Harpster and Micah Fitzerman-Blue of Transparent success, the story follows an American actress who gets tangled in the web of the production of Cleopatra, which includes an affair between stars Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Originally produced by Cross Creek Pictures with Todd Field set to helm, the project got halted, causing it to re-enter the market. Mendes also has The Voyeur’s Motel lined up as a project, so it will be interesting to see how he balances the two.
In non-adaptation news, Transsiberian and The Machinist director Brad Anderson has lined up his next feature. According to Deadline, he will be helming FATE, an original script penned by Rogue One writer Garry Whitta. The Session 9 director is still looking for a cast, with the film going into production in the spring. The story concerns Virgil, a man whose life is turned upside down in Hong Kong when a woman asks for his help. A classic set-up, it will be interesting to see what twists, if any, Whitta has thrown in to make it stand out. FATE is being produced by Michael Helfant, Bradley Gallo, David Alpert, Stewart Hall, and Devin Cutler.
Lastly, Mel Gibson continues his attempted ascension back through the ranks of Hollywood with Every Other Weekend, an action project the star is in negotiations to lead, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Helmed by French director Benjamin Rocher (The Horde), the film is a “multi-generational” familial storyline centered largely on a father who has convinced his son he works as a CIA spy, but in reality is simply an IT guy at the agency. When the two take a trip to Paris, lives are threatened and secrets unravel. Gibson would play the grandfather who is actually a spy. While this set-up sounds a bit like a comedy starring Zach Galifiankis, it seems the actual material may take on a more hard-toothed edge. Every Other Weekend is penned by David Moreau (2006’s Them) and Tad Safran.