October 25, 2011 1:00pm PT by Jay A. Fernandez
Karl Urban and Ben Barnes Go Into 'Overdrive' (Exclusive)
Karl Urban and Ben Barnes have been cast as car-thief brothers in the France-set actioner Overdrive. Antonio Negret (Seconds Apart) is directing the project, which was written by Wanted and 2 Fast 2 Furious scribes Derek Haas and Michael Brandt. Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke is in negotiations for the female lead.
Pierre Morel, whose kidnapping thriller Taken was a surprise success in 2008, is producing along with Haas and Brandt. Filming begins October 29 in Marseilles.
Urban, who plays Bones in the revamped Star Trek franchise, and Barnes, who plays Prince Caspian in the Chronicles of Narnia series, will play adventurous siblings who find more trouble than they are looking for in the South of France. Alex Pettyfer, Matthew Goode and Garrett Hedlund were each attached at various points during development.
The movie sprang from a trip Haas and Brandt took overseas in November 2008, when they were invited by the French government to tour the country for ten days as part of a Hollywood outreach program called France: Unlimited Access. Finding Marseilles a very cinematic city with an edge, they wrote a crime script that made good use of the local locations.
Haas and Brandt first delivered the screenplay to Fox, where they are part of a profit-sharing collective called Writing Partners launched in 2007 with screenwriting colleagues John August, Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio, Simon Kinberg, Stuart Beattie and others. When Fox passed on the $30 million project, they took it to Morel, who agreed to produce and tapped protege Negret to direct. French production/sales outfit Kinology (Buried) began selling international rights in Cannes; WME Entertainment reps domestic rights.
The WME-repped Urban most recently appeared in Priest and Red. He next stars as the title character in Lionsgate's Dredd, which opens in September 2012.
Repped by WME, Creative Artists Management in the U.K. and Luber Roklin Entertainment, Barnes has appeared in Easy Virtue, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Dorian Gray. He has Lionsgate's The Wedding coming out in October 2012.
Clarke is repped by WME and Emptage/Hallett in the U.K.
Repped by WME and Circle of Confusion, Negret has the After Dark thriller Transit awaiting release.
Repped by WME and Industry Entertainment, Haas and Brandt have the Image Entertainment thriller The Double opening October 28. The film, which they wrote, is Brandt's directorial debut and Haas' producing debut.