AFM week means tons and tons of news. Let’s get to it. Aaron Eckhart, who’s proved his chops in big mainstream tentpoles like “The Dark Knight,” plus his true thespian powers in the upcoming “Rabbit Hole,” is set to star in the drama, “The Expatriate.”
The actor, who looks like he’ll prove his leading-man action mettle in next March’s “Battle: Los Angeles” (clips we’ve seen look surprisingly strong), will play an ex-CIA Agent in the film directed by German filmmaker Philipp Stölzl, known for the suspenseful adventure Alps film, “North Face,” and helming videos by Madonna, Evanescence, Garbage, Faith No More and Rammsteien to name just a few.
Based on a script by A.E. Amel (no discernible IMDB credits other than this one), Eckhart plays a former agent who moves to Belgium, trying to make a fresh go of things as the relationship with his 15-year-old daughter has crumbled. Working for a multinational corporation as a security head, he arrives to work one day to find that the corporation doesn’t actually exist and everyone he works with has vanished. He discovers his assistant is actually a trained operative trying to kill him. On the run with his daughter, the experience forces the two to trust and work with one another.
“Daddy, Your Assistant Is Trying To Kill Us, Why?” sounds like a better title for this one and it sort of sounds like the hackneyed version of “Hanna,” but we’ll give it the benefit of the doubt for now. No teenager has been cast yet, but guys, Saoirse Ronan essentially just played this role, so you’ll have to look elsewhere. Maybe Eckhart will have better luck during Oscar season. His turn in John Cameron Mitchell‘s “Rabbit Hole” is excellent, but he’s likely going to be overshadowed by the more showy performances of Nicole Kidman and Dianne Wiest. We can’t think of a good teenage female off hand, but maybe the equivalent of a young Natalie Portman can build more confidence in this pic. [Deadline]