Everyone seems a bit worn out with all of the remakes, sequels, reboots, and general lack of originality coming out of Hollywood these days. (Chris Nolan’s Inception looks to shatter that notion when it comes out next week.) But there is one project based on an original idea that caused a bidding war among the major studios – a spec script by Us Weekly editor (?!) David Guggenheim called Safe House.
Denzel Washington is in talks to star as the film’s bad guy, marking a return to the actor’s villainous history in movies like Training Day and American Gangster. More after the jump.
The script, supposedly written by Guggenheim in three months, is a hot property and Universal emerged from the bidding war victorious. The L.A. Times provided a good summary of the film back in February:
[Safe House is] a story of a young U.S. intelligence agent in charge of a safe house in a tumultuous part of South America. Soon after a prisoner is brought in, the house is attacked, and the agent and the prisoner must go on the run across the treacherous Latin landscape — think “Collateral” and ‘The Bourne Identity” with a Che Guevara twist.
I’m thinking it sounds more like 16 Blocks meets The Rundown, but I haven’t read the script. Daniel Espinosa (Snabba Cash) is set to direct, and it seems like he might have the possibility of steering it in a few different tonal directions, so we’ll have to wait and see how this one ends up. Even though it sounds a bit derivative, I’m still glad to see original projects squeaking through the cracks of Hollywood; I hope this does well at the box office to encourage studios to take more chances.
Other minor tidbits from the story:
- David Guggenheim is the brother of Marc and Eric; Marc wrote the upcoming film adaptations of The Green Lantern and The Flash, while Eric wrote 2004’s Kurt Russell hockey flick Miracle and currently works on the show “Parenthood.”
- Deadline mentions that Star Trek‘s Chris Pine tested for the role of the young CIA agent, setting up a potential reunion between Pine and Washington – they recently worked together on Tony Scott’s upcoming action movie Unstoppable. Rumor has it, though, that the studio won’t reconnect the two actors on this project.
What do you think? Are you excited about the possibility of Denzel Washington returning to a villainous role?