Phillip Noyce to direct 'Mixed Blood'

Screenplay based on Roger Smith's novel

Phillip Noyce has been tapped to direct the thriller "Mixed Blood," which has Samuel Jackson on board to play a key co-starring role.

Based on Roger Smith's novel of the same name, which was published in March by Henry Holt and Co., the tale is set in South Africa and centers on an American fugitive trying to protect his family who's drawn into a world of murderers, kidnappers and corrupt cops.

Jackson would play a good detective who goes by the moniker of Disaster Zondi. Kelly Masterson, who penned "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead," is writing the adaptation.

GreeneStreet Films, which optioned the novel back in February, is co-financing and producing the project with A Bigger Boat and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment. Jackson's Uppity Films also is producing.

FilmNation will handle worldwide sales through its partnership with A Bigger Boat and GreeneStreet. Principal photography is scheduled to begin early next year.

Noyce, repped by UTA, is currently directing "Salt," starring Angelina Jolie, for Columbia. Jackson, repped by ICM and Anonymous Content, most recently appeared in "The Spirit" and serves as narrator in the upcoming "Inglourious Basterds." Masterson, repped by ICM and Rhonda Bloom, is completing the script "Good People" for The Film Department, Maguire Entertainment and 360 Management.