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Kathryn Bigelow & Mark Boal Eyeing Low-Budget Black Ops Thriller To Precede ‘Triple Frontier’

Kathryn Bigelow & Mark Boal Eyeing Low-Budget Black Ops Thriller To Precede 'Triple Frontier'

Drug Parable Now Set To Shoot Fall Of 2011, Johnny Depp To Star?

Acclaimed and award-winning writing-directing duo Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal have pushed back production plans for their sprawling “Traffic“-esque drug parable “Triple Frontier” — also known as “Sleeping Dogs” — and are currently shopping a mysterious low-budget international thriller which they hope to tackle next.

Few details have been revealed about the new project, though it’s been described as an “international thriller [that] concerns blacks ops and is based on a true story that has appeared in printed form” and “similar in approach to ‘The Hurt Locker‘ which cost just over $10 million” with Boal penning and Bigelow helming once again. If things pan out, it’ll trump “Triple Frontier” in marking the reunion between two and the first project for either since 2008’s “The Hurt Locker.”

It wasn’t that long ago Bigelow and Boal were spotted at the Ugaza Falls in Brazil presumably scouting locations for the shoot and it was only a week ago that Tom Hanks was confirmed as the first of a handful of leads for the pic, with plans to shoot in March of next year. “Triple Frontier” is now looking at a fall 2011 timeframe (and that was after original plans to get in front of cameras in December-January were also delayed) — so why the sudden schedule change?

Variety posits that the film’s delay is due to the fact the project has “many moving parts” that need to be put together and that it’ll allow ample time for “negotiations and scheduling” for potential stars to fill the four major roles; one of which now has Hanks in place with the illustrious likes of Sean Penn, Will Smith, Javier Bardem and Christian Bale all previously linked. As of late November, producer Charles Roven confirmed that the production was “still looking to cast the other roles.”

One particular actor excitingly namedropped, though, is Johnny Depp who was first linked to a role earlier this year. The actor reportedly “would like to” join but is committed to star in frequent collaborator Tim Burton‘s film adaptation of “Dark Shadows” early next year. It sounds like Depp should be freed up in time for a potential fall shoot on “Triple Frontier” (though other reports have him shooting “The Lone Ranger” in late 2011). If you’re wondering why Bigelow and Boal don’t just forgo the A-listers and do another down and dirty shoot with lesser-known actors as they did with “The Hurt Locker,” it certainly appears that “Triple Frontier” is a much more expansive and expensive project that will require A-list power to get its gritty story told.

While we’re eagerly awaiting “Triple Frontier,” we have to admit the prospect of a black-ops based thriller from “The Hurt Locker” team sounds equally exciting. At this point, we don’t really care which project comes first just as long as it arrives sooner rather than later.

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