Over two years ago, a very early incarnation of the long, long developing Black List script “Prisoners” was put on hold. At the time Hugh Jackman was circling the lead, but wasn’t quite locked down, with Antoine Fuqua set to direct, but it didn’t come pass. And while a few more stars and directors came and went in the years since, the project is one that seems to have been lodged in Jackman’s memory as he’s now back to star.
Alcon Entertainment have announced that the actor is back, and it will be hitting screens next year. Written by Aaron Guzikowski (“Contraband”), the story revolves around a small-town carpenter named Keller (Jackman) whose young daughter and best friend are kidnapped. After the cops fail to find them, Keller takes the law into his own hands, but in the process runs up against the big city detective assigned to the case.
It speaks to the quality of the material that over the years the project has attracted directors like Bryan Singer, David O. Russell and Daniel Espinosa and stars like Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Leonardo DiCaprio and more recently Michael Fassbender (he was offered the lead) — but it never got off the ground. The film signed up Denis Villeneuve last spring, the man behind the Oscar nominated “Incendies,” and this looks like it will be his Hollywood debut.
Jackman is shooting “Les Miserables” which he’ll follow with “The Wolverine” and it looks like he’ll close out 2012 by lensing “Prisoners” which is eyeing a November 2013 release via Warner Bros. Will this finally put an end to the film’s development hell? Let’s hope so.