Recall back in the day when it seemed like just about every other newly-announced film was being fashioned as a starring vehicle for Sam Worthington? Avatar‘s leading man is still keeping busy as ever, but it’s been a while since there was any news about his (admittedly, kind of obscure) comic book adaptation, The Last Days of American Crime.
That project has now officially snagged a director in the form of F. Gary Gray – the fellow whose resume includes titles ranging from the original Friday with Ice Cube to the Italian Job remake.
The Last Days of American Crime was scripted by Karl Gajdusek, who is currently reworking the screenplay for TRON: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski’s own comic book adaptation, Oblivion. According to Deadline, Worthington is planning to start work on American Crime with Gray after he finishes his part for the currently-filming sequel, Wrath of the Titans (a.k.a. Clash of the Titans 2).
Rick Remender authored the original Last Days of American Crime graphic novel, which takes place in a futuristic version of the U.S. where a second major terrorist strike incites the creation of technology that eliminates the desire in people to commit crimes.
Worthington will star as a crook who assembles a team to pull off what will literally be his last heist ever – five days before the criminal impulse is permanently eradicated. So it’s kind of like Fast Five, only with fancy mind-altering sci-fi tech instead of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
It seems as though Worthington has become a blockbuster star through (basically) sheer willpower – as opposed to earning lots of praise for being an expressive and suave leading man. He now has three financial hits under his belt (Terminator: Salvation, Avatar, and Clash of the Titans), but Worthington has yet to prove that he’s capable of bringing in the masses – without the added support of either a brand name or ground-breaking visual effects.
Gray, on the other hand, has delivered a number of solid (if not spectacular) crime dramas and heist thrillers before (see: The Italian Job, The Negotiator, Set It Off). He doesn’t do quite as well when he ventures outside those genres (see: Be Cool), but a caper flick with a sci-fi twist could be a nice match for the director’s sensibilities – even though it’ll almost undoubtedly draw comparisons to Inception, given that description alone.
Gajdusek could be the wild card that helps make or break Last Days of American Crime. Outside of his work on the Showtime TV series Dead Like Me, there’s little to suggest whether his involvement with the project is a plus or potential hindrance. The screenwriter has lined up two higher-profile jobs of late, so that bodes well enough for the quality of his work.
The Last Days of American Crime is expected to begin filming this September.