Hugh Jackman to Star in Alcon Thriller 'Prisoners'

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"Incendies" helmer Denis Villeneuve is on board to direct.

The hot movie project Prisoners is finally getting off the ground.

Hugh Jackman has signed to star in the gritty thriller being made by Alcon, while Denis Villeneuve, the Canadian helmer behind the Oscar-nominated movie Incendies, is on board to direct.

The story centers on a small-town carpenter (Jackman) whose young daughter and best friend are kidnapped. After the cops fail to find them, his character takes the law into his own hands, kidnapping the man he suspects is responsible. But as the kidnapping continues, the carpenter begins to have doubts that he has the right man.

The script, by Aaron Guzikowski, initially hit Hollywood in early 2009, generating such heat that it attracted actors Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale even before it was picked up by Alcon, which beat out several bidders.

It also put then-Brooklyn-based Guzikowski on the industry's radar, getting him representation at WME. He has since gone on to write movies like the recent Universal hit Contraband and is now repped by Verve.

Wahlberg and Bale eventually moved on because of other commitments, but it has remained a top priority at Alcon.

Alcon’s Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson are producing along with 8:38 Productions’ Kira Davis and Madhouse Entertainment’s Adam Kolbrenner. Ed McDonnell and John Stark will executive produce.

Alcon is hoping to shoot the movie in early 2013, after Jackman films Fox’s Wolverine movie.

Jackman is repped by WME and Sloane Offer.

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