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Robert De Niro Replaces Nicolas Cage In ‘Killing Season’ (aka ‘Shrapnel’) With John Travolta

Robert De Niro Replaces Nicolas Cage In 'Killing Season' (aka 'Shrapnel') With John Travolta

Mark Steven Johnson Now Directing Instead Of John McTiernan

It’s not the “Face/Off” reunion we were hoping nor will it be the John McTiernan comeback vehicle. Instead, it will be the next film from the guy who directed “Simon Birch,” “Daredevil,” and “When In Rome.” Good grief.

Originally titled “Shrapnel,” the movie now called “Killing Season” was going to be a pair up between Nicolas Cage and John Travolta, in another film that was promising pit them against each other with the “Die Hard” and “Predator” director at the helm. Well, with the American Film Market kicking off next week, it’s taken a bit of a different shape with Deadline revealing not only has Robert De Niro subbed in for Cage who left the film this summer but Mark Steven Johnson is now directing. Penned by Evan Daugherty, who wrote “Snow White and the Huntsman,” his Black List script centers on a former Serbian soldier (Travolta) who enters a deadly game of cat and mouse as he seeks vengeance against the American solider (De Niro) who wounded him, as they hunt each other in the Rockies. Here’s the official synopsis below:

SHRAPNEL tells the story of two veterans of the Bosnian War, one American, one Serbian, who clash in the remote Rocky Mountain wilderness. FORD is a former American soldier who fought on the front lines in Bosnia. When our story begins, he has retreated to a remote cabin in the woods, trying to escape painful memories of war.

The drama begins when KOVAC, a former Serbian soldier, seeks Ford out, hoping to settle an old score. What follows is a cat-and-mouse game in which Ford and Kovac fght their own personal World War III, with battles both physical and psychological. By the end of the flm, old wounds are opened, suppressed memories are drawn to the surface and long-hidden secrets about both Ford and Kovac are revealed.

While it will mark the first time De Niro and Travolta have shared the screen, we can’t say we’re overly optimistic about this one. Johnson’s track record speaks for itself, and with Nu Image/Millennium behind the production it’s likely to be yet another straight up genre movie with not much else to it. That said, Daugherty has been a pretty hot ticket around town thanks to ‘Huntsman’ so perhaps his Black List script is a cut above. Let’s hope. Production on the movie kicks off on January 16th.

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