Clive Owen, Billy Crudup to Star in Crime Thriller 'Blood Ties' (Exclusive)

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Clive Owen and Billy Crudup are coming on board to star in Blood Ties, a crime thriller set during the 1970s being directed by Guillaume Canet.

Mila Kunis and James Caan also are boarding the movie, joining Zoe Saldana and Marion Cotillard, who is married to Canet. Additionally, Bullhead star Matthias Schoenaerts has an offer for a role.

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CAA, which is packaging the project and handling North American distribution rights, is in negotiations with several potential U.S. equity partners. Former Paramount executive John Lesher is one of the producers.

An adaptation of a French novel titled Les liens du sang, the story centers on a younger brother (Crudup) who has to ask his convict older brother (Owen) to go back into the underworld to help out the family. Kunis and Cotillard play love interests.

Canet wrote the screenplay with James Gray, who is no stranger to crime and brotherhood, having explored that territory with his 2008 film We Own the Night. Canet is a French actor-turned-director behind films like the 2006 murder mystery Tell No One (Ne le dis a personne), a French hit whose remake rights were picked up by Universal.

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If the finanacing comes together, the movie will head for an April start in New York. The project previously had Mark Wahlberg in the lead.

Owen, repped by CAA and Hirsch Wallerstein, most recently starred in Killer Elite and next toplines Millennium’s horror thriller Intruders, which opens March 30 in limited release.

Crudup, repped by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment, recently wrapped Neighborhood Watch with Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn and appeared in HBO’s all-star ensemble movie Too Big to Fail.

Kunis, repped by CAA and Curtis Talent Management, next co-stars in Universal’s Ted with Wahlberg, while CAA-repped Cotillard will appear in The Dark Knight Rises.  

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