Incendies Director Denis Villeneuve To Helm Long-Gestating PRISONERS

Hitting the number 4 slot on the 2009 Black List was Aaron Guzikowski's script Prisoners, a vigilante thriller that quickly became a much sought after Hollywood project but has since become an infamous passy-the-parcel hot potato. The two character piece centers on a small-town bible bashing carpenter who takes the law into his own hands when his 6 year old daughter and her friend are kidnapped in a movie that is said to have echoes to Liam Neeson€™s Taken and also Eastwood's Mystic River. The other lead role is that of a cop trying to solve the case and who the former believes isn't doing enough to find his daughter. After the jump, a brief account of the two years of Hollywood's attempts to get Prisoners made and the news of a fresh development that might see it now happen; For a while in 2009, just after the black list publicity, director Bryan Singerbecame interested in bringing Prisoners to the screen and the quality of the story attracted A-listers Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg before both men thought Mickey Ward's life story was more compelling and they made The Fighter instead with David O'Russell. Without a leading actor, Singer would quickly bail but instead of floundering, the movie ended up with Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Shooter) who attracted another A-lister, Hugh Jackman. Though Jackman's commitment was only if the movie could quickly enter development immediately and a January 2010 start date never did come together. Though still not to be outdone, another A-lister in Leonardo DiCaprio then became interested with Swedish director Daniel Espinosa to helm, but both men would swiftly move on to projects much more developed.
Rarely in Hollywood has a blacklisted screenplay enjoyed so much A-list talent circling, only to then be seemingly put to death. But this leads us to today when 24 Frames reports that French Canadian director Denis Villeneuve, helmer of the Oscar nominated Incendies, has been hired to make his English-language debut with the film at Warner Bros. Prisoners is setup at WB and Alcon Entertainment where producer Andrew Kosove has said he hired Villeneuve as his Incendies, released in the U.S. this weekend, was "the best movie made last year, in my opinion." Now the question for Kosove is whether the quality of the script can attract the kind of names Prisoners was attracting under previous bigger name directors to hopefully get the film made this year.
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.