Oscar-nominated director John Madden (Shakespeare in Love) is prepped to make another bid for the gold this winter with his gritty thriller The Debt – the trailer for which is now available for viewing.

The Debt is a remake of a 2007 thriller from Israeli writer/director Assaf Bernstein.  The plot revolves around three Mossad (re: Israeli hit squad) agents – played by Sam Worthington (Avatar), Marton Csokas (Alice in Wonderland), and Jessica Chastain (The Tree of Life) – who track down and kill an escaped Nazi war criminal in the year 1965.

30 years later, a man who claims to be the supposedly-dead Nazi emerges, much to the shock of the public.  The agents – now played by Ciarán Hinds (Munich), Oscar-winner Helen Mirren (The Queen), and twice-nominated actor Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton), respectively – must return to action and attempt to uncover the truth about the situation.

The screenplay for The Debt was written by several individuals, including co-producer Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) and screenwriter Jane Goldman (X-Men: First Class).

You can check out the trailer for The Debt below:

Madden has only taken on three projects since he helmed Shakespeare back in 1998 and only one of them – his 2008 Elmore Leonard adaptation Killshot – bears any resemblance to The Debt in terms of tone or content.  By the way, none of those post-Shakespeare films were especially successful at either the box office or with critics.

The Debt will not rely solely on Madden’s name to draw attention to itself during the 2010 awards season.  Mirren and Wilkinson tend to always stand out – no matter the role – and the film looks like it could potentially be the kind of gloomy, politically-charged historical thriller (re: Oscar bait) that Academy members tend to pay attention to.  Worthington’s presence should help as well.

The Debt arrives in theaters in the U.S. on December 29th, 2010 – just in time to qualify for the Oscars, surprisingly enough. ;-)

Source: Yahoo! Movies