Cinematographer-turned-director Pierre Morel certainly has a thing for making action-packed thrillers set in France (see: District B13, Taken, From Paris with Love). However, he'll slide over into the producer position on an upcoming flick: Overdrive, a new project from Wanted writing duo Michael Brandt and Derek Haas.
Overdrive is being directed by lesser-known Colombian helmer Antonio Negret (Seconds Apart). However, its cast now includes two well-known actors as the leads: Karl Urban (Star Trek) and Chronicles of Narnia alumnus, Ben Barnes.
Heat Vision has the scoop on Urban and Barnes joining Overdrive, which also looks to include Game of Thrones starlet Emilia Clarke - assuming her negotiations for the female lead do not collapse. Urban will presumably set to work reprising his role as a younger Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy in Star Trek 2 after completing his acting duties for Overdrive. Barnes will likewise be moving onto another high-profile studio project after he stars in Negret's thriller - namely, Legendary Pictures' The Seventh Son.
Overdrive was reportedly inspired by a trip Brandt and Haas took to the French city of Marseilles - appropriately, the setting for the film - and will feature Urban and Barnes as "adventurous siblings who find more trouble than they are looking for in the South of France." Clarke is (presumably) up to portray some sort of European femme fatale who gets involved with Urban and Barnes' characters.
While Urban has played memorable supporting roles in films ranging from excellent (the Lord of the Rings trilogy) to good fun (RED) and occasionally lackluster (Doom, Priest), his leading man chops will be put to the test next year with his roles in both Overdrive and the comic book reboot, Dredd. Likewise, Barnes seems to be generally well-liked for his work in the Narnia films, but he was never the focus of those fantasy adventures. Hopefully, the two will have good screen chemistry as a pair of trouble-making brothers in Negret's new film.
With Brandt and Haas (whose scripting resume also includes 2 Fast 2 Furious and the upcoming The Double) handling writing duties on Overdrive, it's all but guaranteed that the film will be a blisteringly-paced, hyper-kinetic thrill ride. Whether their new movie will be a ridiculously fun cinematic romp through France - or, rather, ridiculously dumb - remains to be seen.
Principal photography on Overdrive will commence in Marseilles on October 29th, 2011. Look for the movie to reach theaters by late 2012.