While Liam Neeson is earning all kinds of attention for his recent turn towards a certain strain of B-movie, many forget that Denzel Washington has been using that playbook for years. The two-time Oscar winner has played the multilplex card hard over the past few years with movies like “Unstoppable,” “The Taking Of Pelham 1 2 3,” “The Book Of Eli,” “Deja Vu,” and, of course, this weekend’s “Safe House.” It seems Universal wants to keep Washington in their backyard and pair him up with their “Contraband” star Mark Wahlberg, the easiest no-brainer decision of the year.
When all the paperwork is done, Washignton and Wahlberg (damn, you can see that on a poster already) will pair to star in “2 Guns.” The long-gestating project was once meant as a reunion for Wahlberg and “The Fighter” helmer David O. Russell, but as they’ve more or less fallen out, the gig was given to “Contraband” helmer Baltasar Kormakur last fall. Penned by Blake Masters and based on the graphic novel by Steven Grant, the story follows two lawmen—a DEA agent and an undercover naval officer—who investigate each other as each have been tasked to steal mob money.
Way back in its earliest stages, the film was conceived as an action/comedy, but we wouldn’t be surprised if, with Washington aboard, it takes a grittier tone. Regardless, it seems pretty slam dunk simple, and exactly the kind of mid-budgeted, lean and mean thriller that suddenly seem to be Universal’s specialty.
Financing is apparently still coming together, but with double W power now set to star, it shouldn’t take long for that to be sorted. International rights will go up for grabs at the Berlin market this week and we guess sometime next year we’ll all be sitting down in a theater to watch this thing along with a tub of popcorn. [Deadline]