Several months ago we told you about The Prisoners (the “The” is new), a thriller with Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale attached to star, while X-Men director Bryan Singer was eyeing the directors chair. Well, the film has now been put on the fast-track for a fall 2010 release.

There’s just one problem – Wahlberg, Bale and Singer are no longer attached to the film.

So what does this mean?

With Wahlberg and Bale out of the picture the field is now wide open for casting. The irony being that Wahlberg and Bale are now starring together in David O. Russell’s The Fighter. Maybe the duo didn’t want to re-team (maybe Wahlberg walked into Bale’s eyeline while they were shooting?) or this new fast-tracking didn’t align with their respective schedules (might Bale have Batman 3 on the way?).

Producers Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson said:

“This project has created considerable interest in town and we’re moving forward with it quickly. It’s a terrifically exciting project with compelling commercial appeal. We’re seeking top talent for the lead roles and hope to announce a start date soon.”

It’ll be interesting to see who gets cast in The Prisoners because Wahlberg and Bale are big enough names to secure a decent budget and distribution, and their dropping out must have been a blow to all involved with the film.

Producers Alcon Entertainment, who will distribute the film through Warner Bros., paid “mid-six-figures against low-seven figures” for the script from writer Aaron Guzikowski.

“The thriller is about a small-town carpenter whose young daughter and friend are kidnapped. The man starts his own investigation but has to contend with the big-city detective on the case.”

When we have more details on Taken 2 The Prisoners we will let you know.

Source: Screen Daily