'Taken' director to helm 'Signals'

Pierre Morel signs on MRC's fast-track thriller

Director Pierre Morel is taken with "Signals."

The French helmer, who most recently directed the $224 million-grossing "Taken," has signed to helm the original thriller screenplay written by Richard Potter and Matthew Stravitz. Media Rights Capital, who pre-emptively bought the script in April, is fast-tracking the film.

Potter and Stravitz's contemporary story line is secret but is expected to take on the tone of a 1970s-era paranoid thriller like "Three Days of the Condor." Morel, a former camera operator and cinematographer, spun similarly gritty material with "Taken's" kidnapping/revenge plot.

"Pierre Morel is one of the most exciting filmmakers to emerge in years," MRC Films president Tory Metzger said. "Audiences have come to expect edge-of-their-seat action from him, and we are confident this next film will deliver just that."

Morel, repped by WME and Artist Talent Management, has his next film, the actioner "From Paris With Love," releasing through Lionsgate in February. He also has an untitled Tokyo-set thriller written by Frank Baldwin set up at Paramount, and he recently became attached to direct the action thriller "Pursuit" for Universal.

MRC most recently released the films "Bruno," "Shorts" and "The Invention of Lying"; its horror film "The Box" opens Friday. The company is filming writer-director George Nolfi's "The Adjustment Bureau," with Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, for Universal.