In the pipeline


Years after it made its reputation with a series of low-budget actioners, Nu Image and its sister company, Millennium Films, have become players in much bigger-budgeted, star-driven films, including the following pictures that either have recently wrapped or are in

Blonde Ambition
Jessica Simpson and Luke Wilson topline this romantic comedy about a young woman who becomes an unwitting pawn in an effort by two businessmen to turn the tables on a corporate rival. Scott Marshall directs from a screenplay by John Cohen and Matthew Flanagan. The film co-stars Rachael Leigh Cook, Penelope Ann Miller and Andy Dick and was shot on location in Shreveport, La., where Nu Image has benefited from many of the local film subsidies.

Samuel L. Jackson reteams with director Renny Harlin -- the pair worked together on 1996's "The Long Kiss Goodnight" and 1999's "Deep Blue Sea" -- on this thriller about a former cop who inadvertently participates in a cover-up while "cleaning" a crime scene. Eva Mendes and Ed Harris co-star, along with Luiz Guzman and Robert Forster. Principal photography got under way earlier this year.

Hero Wanted
Cuba Gooding Jr. and Ray Liotta co-star in this revenge drama about a man who is shot and left for dead during a bank robbery, then tracks down the man who "killed" him -- with unexpected results. Brian Smrz directs the film, which shot in Bulgaria in April and May.

Homeland Security
Written and directed by George Gallo, this tentatively titled comedy stars Colin Hanks as a young federal agent who is assigned to spy on his own mother (Meg Ryan) and her lover (Antonio Banderas), both suspected of being art thieves. Shot on location in Shreveport,
the movie completed principal photography in November and is in postproduction.

John Rambo
After the boxoffice success of 2006's "Rocky Balboa," Sylvester Stallone resurrects his other signature character, John Rambo, in this fourth installment of the action franchise. Stallone writes, directs and stars in the film, in which he plays the celebrated combat veteran who here is recruited by Christian missionaries to protect them against pirates. The movie began shooting in Mexico, Thailand and the U.S. in March.

Mad Money
Callie Khouri, an Oscar winner for her original screenplay for 1991's "Thelma & Louise," makes her second foray as a director on this comedy after helming the 2002 feature "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood." "Money" stars Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah and Katie Holmes and began shooting in Aprip in Shreveport. Written by Khouri and Glenn Gers, the film is loosely based on the real-life tale of three Englishwomen who decided to try their hand at robbing a bank -- a story previously told in the 2001 British TV movie "Hot Money," on which the film is based.

War, Inc.
John Cusack stars in this action comedy about a professional assassin with a tragic past who goes undercover as a producer to the Middle East, where he is meant to kill an oil tycoon. There, he finds himself embroiled with the tycoon's daughter when war breaks out. Marisa Tomei, Hilary Duff and Ben Kingsley co-star in the Joshua Seftel-directed film, which has completed shooting in Bulgaria.