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Anthony Hopkins, Al Pacino, Dan Stevens, Malin Akerman and Byung-hun Lee are in final negotiations to star in Beyond Deceit, a legal thriller that will mark the directorial debut of screenwriter Shintaro Shimosawa.
Veteran producer Jonathan Sanger, whose credits range from The Elephant Man and Flight of the Navigator to Vanilla Sky and The Producers, is producing the project which is being introduced to buyers at the European Film Market by Ellen Wander of Film Bridge International.
Written by Adam Mason and Simon Boyes with a rewrite by Shimosawa, the script tells of an ambitious young lawyer (Stevens) who takes on a big case against a ruthless executive of a pharmaceutical company, only to find himself drawn into a murder case in which he is the prime suspect.
Hopkins will play the big pharma exec while Pacino will play the head of the law firm who is also Stevens’ mentor. (Deceit will mark the first time the two screen legends will be in a movie together.)
Akerman will play Stevens’ ex-girlfriend who mysterious returns into his life while Lee acts as a hit man.
A March start in New Orleans is being planned.
The project is already generating interest on the domestic front and a deal is expected soon.
Shimosawa, who was a co-producer on The Grudge horror movies, worked in writer and producer capacities on TV thrillers such as The Ringer, which starred Sarah Michelle Gellar, Kevin Williamson’s The Following, and Intelligence, which starred Josh Holloway. He is repped by WME and Circle of Confusion.
Hopkins (UTA, Rick Nicita, Stone Meyer) has two films in the can, the action movie Autobahn that also stars Nicholas Hoult and Felicity Jones, and serial killer thriller Solace, with Colin Farrell.
Pacino (UTA, Rick Nicita, Hansen Jacobson) last starred in The Humbling, which Barry Levinson directed.
Stevens (WME, UK’s Julian Belfrage Associates) is the Downton Abbey breakout who last starred in the geek-favorite action thriller The Guest.
Akerman (WME, Sanders, Armstrong Caserta Management, Jackoway Tyerman) recently starred in the ABC comedy Trophy Wife.
Lee (CAA, BH Entertainment, McKuin Frankel) played Storm Shadow in the G.I. Joe movies and is playing a Terminator robot in this summer’s Terminator: Genisys.
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