Dwayne Johnson books 'Protection'

Action thriller to start filming this fall

Dwayne Johnson will star in the action thriller "Protection," with Simon West directing.

The screenplay, written by Brandon Noonan, follows a Mexico City security operative who is forced to smuggle the daughter of a high-ranking judge across the border while being pursued by corrupt cops, drug lords and white collar U.S. criminal forces.

IM Global's Stuart Ford and Robert Lawrence will produce along with Gordon Gray and Marc Ciardi of Mayhem Pictures. Brian Kavanaugh Jones is an executive producer, and Jib Polhemus will be a co-producer.

The $35-million production is scheduled to start filming in New Mexico in the fall.

The CAA-repped Johnson most recently starred in "Tooth Fairy" and "Race to Witch Mountain." He will next appear in the Columbia comedy "The Other Guys" in August and the CBS Films actioner "Faster," set for release in November.

West, also repped by CAA, last directed "When a Stranger Calls." He has also directed "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider," "The General's Daughter" and "Con Air."

International sales outfit IM Global recently handled "Paranormal Activity" and "A Single Man." Forthcoming are the features "Area 51," "Everything Must Go," "Astral" and "The Company Men."