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Vin Diesel is teaming up with Arash Amel, the writer of the upcoming Grace Kelly biopic Grace of Monaco, to create an original sci-fi action movie franchise.
Universal has picked up Soldiers of the Sun with Diesel attached to star to Amel’s spec script. Diesel is also on board to produce with Samantha Vincent via their One Race Films along with veteran producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura.
Sun is set in a post-apocalyptic future and focuses on a squad of soldiers that searches for a fabled city of gold while on a tour of duty in Mexico, liberating it from an alien race known as Orcs.
The hope is to launch another ensemble-type franchise series for Diesel, who is already the ringleader of Universal’s ensemble Fast and Furious action franchise.
Jeff Kirschenbaum and Jay Polidoro are overseeing for the studio.
Sun is the third spec Amel has sold in as many years and marks a return to the sci-fi action genre. The rising screenwriter has been generating buzz for his true-life bio-scripts, including the upcoming Grace of Monaco, which began life as a spec. The movie stars Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly and will open Nov. 27 in limited release. He also has scripts centering on actress Ingrid Bergman and war journalist Marie Colvin in development, but initially broke through with his sci-fi and action screenplays such as The Infinity Principle.
Diesel is in the middle of an enviable hot streak. The actor is coming off Fast & Furious 6, which grossed $782 million worldwide, and is about to head into production on the seventh installment of the franchise, on which he is also a producer. After that, he is to go into production on The Last Witch Hunter for Summit.
Diesel is also about to open Riddick, the relaunch of his Pitch Black franchise, and is in early talks to do voice work in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
Di Bonaventura is in production on the fourth Transformers movie and has Red 2 in theaters now. Earlier this year, he saw the release of international hit G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and this fall he lets loose Jack Ryan, which Paramount hopes will relaunch the Tom Clancy spy franchise.
Amel is repped by CAA and attorney David Fox of Myman Greenspan while Diesel is repped by CAA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Patti Felker of Felker Toczek.
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