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JAN
28
2 YEARS

'Taken' Director to Helm Sean Penn Thriller 'Prone Gunman' (Exclusive)

Pierre Morel, who turned Liam Neeson into an action star, is in negotiations to direct a project that is serving as Penn's entre into the action field.

Pierre Morel - P 2012
Pierre Morel

French action director Pierre Morel is in negotiations to direct Sean Penn in Prone Gunman, the action thriller being produced by Silver Pictures’ Joel Silver and Andrew Rona.

Based on a Jean-Patrick Manchette novel and a script by Peter Travis, the story centers on an international operative named Martin Terrier (Penn) who is betrayed by the organization he works for and must go on the run in a relentless game of cat-and-mouse across Europe.

STORY: Sean Penn to Star in Action Thriller 'Prone Gunman'

The movie is serving as Penn’s entre into the action franchise game, so it’s fitting that he would work with Morel, who launched the reinvention of actor Liam Neeson as an action star with Taken. The 2008 movie featured Neeson as a father who would do anything to rescue his daughter and launched a sequel released in 2012.

Silver and Studio Canal, which is fully financing the picture, are looking at a spring 2013 production start in several locales across Europe.

(It is still unclear if Gunman will go through Silver's new distribution deal at Universal or end up in another studio's pipeline.)

VIDEO: Kid Rock, Sean Penn Insult Each Other in Political PSA

Silver Pictures just wrapped production on Non-Stop, a thriller starring Neeson and Julianne Moore.

Morel is repped by CAA and manager Renee Tab. 

Email: Borys.Kit@thr.com

Twitter: @Borys_Kit