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Phillip Noyce Leaves ‘Hunter Killer’ To Sink

Written by on August 21, 2011 

With over a half year’s worth of pre-production under his belt, Salt director Phillip Noyce has reportedly dropped out of Relativity Media’s Hunter Killer, only days after it was announced that Gerard Butler was in talks to play the starring role of “an untested submarine captain who must work with a Navy SEAL team to rescue the Russian president, who has been taken prisoner during a military coup, in an effort to stop a rogue Russian General from igniting World War III.”

The film is based on George Wallace’s novel Firing Point, with an adapted script courtesy of Jamie Moss (X-Men: First Class, Escape from New York), John Kolvenbach (Coney Island) and Arne Schmidt (Chain Reaction). Production was set to begin later this year, but this setback will most likely push everything back a bit.

There is no word on why Noyce left the project, or if Butler was in talks for the role with the knowledge that Noyce was no longer attached [Moviehole via Coming Soon].

The plot feels a bit too close to The Hunt For Red October (coincidental considering Noyce directed two other Jack Ryan films) and/or Crimson Tide to make much of an original splash. That said, it’s been a while since we’ve gotten a solid submarine film, the most recent semi-decent tries being U-571 (2000), K:19: The Widowmaker (2002) and the Darren Aronofsky-scripted WW2-horror sub film Below (2002).

With nearly a decade since anything worthwhile, let’s hope Noyce’s replacement knows how to shoot tight spaces. What’s Wolfgang Petersen doing these days?

What do you think of this news? Disappointed Noyce dropped off the project?

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