Studiocanal and 'Taken' Director Adapting 'Victor the Assassin' Books

Pierre Morel - P 2012
<p>Pierre Morel - P 2012</p>
The Picture Company and Sentient Entertainment will produce the adaptations

Studiocanal continues its push into action by picking up the rights to Victor the Assassin, the book series by Tom Wood. And it’s reuniting with the director and producers of its upcoming action movie The Gunman to adapt the first tome.

Pierre Morel is on board to direct The Killer, which will be produced by Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman of The Picture Company. Morel directed Gunman, which stars Sean Penn, Idris Elba and Javier Bardem, while Rona and Heineman were among its producers.

Also on board to produce the Victor the Assassin adaptations are Sentient Entertainment's Renee Tab and Christopher Tuffin.

The Killer (The Hunter in the U.K.) centered on an assassin who had no last name and about whom very little was known.

While the plot is something spy-thriller fans may have seen before — a hitman on the run, chased and double-crossed by many parties — the book was widely praised for having a charismatic lead and for the creativity of the relentless action. And it launched an acclaimed series for Wood, whose real name is Tom Hinshelwood.

The deal marks the first for Rona's and Heineman’s newly formed Picture Company and the first under its pact with Studiocanal. It’s also the third pairing for Rona and Heineman with Studiocanal; it follows Non-Stop, one of Studiocanal’s biggest action hits, and Gunman, which Open Road is due to release Feb. 20, 2015.

Sentient, meanwhile, is the director-focused management-production company that packaged and produced Maps to the Stars, David Cronenberg's latest outing that netted Julianne Moore a best actress prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Morel is best known for directing Taken, which reinvented Liam Neeson as an action hero. He made his debut with District B13, the movie that brought parkour into the mainstream.

CAA reps Morel and Wood. Morel is also repped by Sentient, while Wood is additionally repped by manager Luke Speed of Marjacq. 

Studiocanal’s Ron Halpern will oversee Killer.