'Missing in Action' back in action

MGM, WWE developing updated version for home video

"Missing in Action" is being discovered again.

The Chuck Norris Vietnam pic is being developed as a co-production by MGM and the WWE primarily for home video. Jeremy Passmore, who also penned the story for MGM's "Red Dawn" theatrical remake, is on board to write the script with partner Andre Fabrizio.

The original "Missing in Action" centered on Col. James Braddock (Norris), a POW of the Viet Cong who escapes Southeast Asia and heads back to liberate other U.S. captives. Two other pics were released after MGM's 1984 hit, including a prequel and a sequel, during the next four years.

The new film will be updated to reflect modern military realities and will be set during the current Iraq War. World Wrestling Entertainment, which has beefed up film development under its WWE Studios banner, will produce the new "Missing" pic along with Andrew Stevens ("Heist"). WWE is behind the upcoming Fox Atomic release "12 Rounds," starring pro wrestler John Cena.

The "Missing" project is one of three deals for the suddenly hot Passmore and Fabrizio, who are repped by Paradigm, Adam Goldworm's new banner Aperture Entertainment and lawyer Rob Szymanski.

In addition to "Missing," the writers are penning an adaptation of the video game "Stranglehold" for John Woo banner Lion Rock Entertainment. "Stranglehold" is based on the Woo action pic "Hard Boiled," which revolves around mobsters in Hong Kong and Chicago. The game was released in 2007, while the movie, starring Chow Yun-Fat, was released 15 years earlier and became a hit on several continents.

Passmore also penned the biological thriller "Summer's End," which Platinum Dunes is developing at Rogue, as well as "Dawn." Like the revived "Missing," that movie will take a military threat from another era and give it a modern twist.

The duo also have sold a Las Vegas-set action pic titled "The Prince" to genre banner Echo Lake Entertainment. That company is producing the supernatural thriller "The Ward" for John Carpenter to direct, with the iconic helmer also eyeing "Prince" as a directing vehicle. Rick Jacobs will produce "The Prince."

MGM has been developing a host of remakes based on its vast library, with "The Three Stooges" and "RoboCop" among its more high-profile projects.
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