12:23pm PT by Borys Kit
Silver Pictures Picks Up Action Spec from 'XXX' Writer (Exclusive)
In a deal that might signal that Joel Silver is going back to his 1980s smart-mouthed action movie roots, Silver and his company, Silver Pictures, have pre-emptively picked up the spec script Straight Edge by Rich Wilkes.
Wilkes is best known for writing XXX, the anti-Bond spy movie that starred Vin Diesel. He also penned Iron Fist for Marvel and wrote a draft of The Dirt, Paramount’s adaptation of the Motley Crue biography.
Silver will produce Edge with shingle president Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman, who recently was promoted to exec vp production.
Edge is an Los Angeles-set actioner that revolves around a heist gone wrong and follows a slew of colorful characters, ranging from corrupt cops to Southland gang members.
Those who have read the script describe it as harking back to the edginess of 1982's 48 HRS. and 1987's Lethal Weapon, both early Silver hits, and the attitude of Shane Black's 2005 cult hit Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
Silver is packaging the film with a filmmaker and cast. It’s not clear at this stage whether the project will go through the company’s new distribution deal with Universal or be taken on by another studio or finance entity.
Silver Pictures has hit the ground running since parting with Warner Bros. in April. It's in production on Non-Stop, a thriller starring Liam Neeson that will be released via a distribution deal with Universal. It also has attached Sean Penn to Prone Gunman and acquired several new scripts, among them The Outsider and Sanctuary. Gunman and Outsider are being eyed for 2013 starts.
Wilkes is repped by Verve and Management 360.