While Gerardo Naranjo was known on the arthouse scene mostly for his 2008 effort “Voy a explotar,” it was last year’s “Miss Bala” that brought him to worldwide attention. His breathless thriller, set among the drug war in Mexico, showed a director with a kinetic flair for action, and sensitive and complex touch for character, in one of the breakout highlights at Cannes. It didn’t take long for Hollywood to come knocking, and earlier this year, he lined up the survival tale/love story “The Mountain Between Us” at Fox, with Michael Fassbender attached to star. And now another studio is tapping his talent for a new project.
Focus Features has signed up Naranjo to direct “A Man Must Die.” Being produced by Pablo Cruz — a regular collaborator witwh Naranjo who is also working on the upcoming “Chavez” biopic starring Michael Peña and being directed by Diego Luna — there isn’t much in the way of details on this one except that it will be a political thriller in the vein of Olivier Assayas‘ “Carlos.” Um, awesome. Of course, no word if it will be as sprawling at that flick, but something similarly epic in tone? Yep, sign us up.
It’s not clear if ‘Die’ will roll before ‘Mountain,’ but with Fassy tied up through the rest of the year on “Twelve Years a Slave” and “The Counselor,” maybe this project will gear up to go first. Either way, it looks like Naranjo is ready to make his next big career step and we’re eager to see where it takes him. [Deadline]