Despite his demand for a hefty paycheck for big Hollywood films (usually around $20 million a pop!), leading man Denzel Washington is extremely popular. He has no less than eight upcoming projects on his résumé, although he’s only confirmed for one of those – the runaway train thriller Unstoppable due out this November.
We’re now hearing word that Washington might be adding another film to his slate (and no doubt another one of those big paychecks to his wallet). Vulture reports that Washington is in talks for Safe House, a new spy thriller from writer David Guggenheim, brother of Marc Guggenheim (The Green Lantern, The Flash).
The plot is as follows:
Set in South America, Safe House follows a young U.S. intelligence agent who must go on the run with a newly arrived prisoner after his titular safe house comes under attack.
Here’s the kicker – Washington is mentioned as playing the role of the prisoner and not the intelligence agent who goes on the run. Washington has played his fair share of good guys with considerably less bad guy roles to his name (American Gangster was his most recent stint as the latter). It would be great to see him – in the vein of Tom Cruise in Collateral – change his tune and play the villain. Remember, he did win an Oscar for playing the villain of Training Day.
Talking of Collateral, Safe House is described by Vulture as a cross between the Michael Mann night-time thriller and Three Days of Condor, the 1975 CIA thriller which starred Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway. I’m always up for thrillers like that (I loved Collateral) and seeing Washington in it – whether he ends up being the good or bad guy – is almost never a bad thing.
Washington being in talks for Safe House comes after his long-time agent of 20 years, Ed Limato, sadly passed away last weekend. WME agency CEOs Ari Emmanuel and Patrick Whitesell are said to have been working hard for months to lock down the relationship with Washington before Limato passed away.
Part of that relationship was said to be delivering “hot, original material and big paydays,” which the duo seem to have done with Safe House. There’s no mention in the report how much Washington might end up getting to star in the thriller, but I imagine part of the draw for the actor was the fact that Guggenheim’s script sparked a bidding war last winter which Universal Pictures eventually won.
Now either that means the film is incredibly marketable or it’s very high in quality. As a certain iron clad superhero once said – “Is it too much to ask for both?”
What are your thoughts on the plot of Safe House? Would you like to see Washington star, particularly as the bad guy prisoner?