Antoine Fuqua Directing Aaron Guzikowski's Prisoners Spec
by Alex Billington
September 29, 2009
A big change of pace for this project. Aaron Guzikowski's Prisoners started gaining buzz back in March when Mark Wahlberg was first attached. The script has been compared to Silence of the Lambs and Se7en and was one of the hottest scripts in town over the summer. The Risky Biz Blog reports today that Prisoners eventually sold to Alcon Entertainment instead of being setup at a studio. The producers reconfigured the project without a cast or director and a lower budget (around $30 to $40 million) so it could move forward quickly. Now they've brought on Training Day, King Arthur, and Shooter director Antoine Fuqua.
Fuqua, who last directed Brooklyn's Finest, is currently in negotiations to direct Prisoners. The project is being fast-tracked, with pre-production set to begin shortly for a January or February shoot. Alcon is planning to release the film through Warner Brothers next October. It sounds like neither Mark Wahlberg or Christian Bale are attached to this anymore. Bryan Singer was also once rumored to be involved. I would say that I think this has lost some steam without such a high profile cast, but I'll be curious to see who Fuqua casts instead, since he seems to have a knack for making great casting choices (just look at his past films).
Guzikowski's dark tale centers on a small-town man who, after his daughter and her friend are kidnapped and the cops fail to solve the crime, takes matters into his own hands, holding hostage the person he suspects committed the crime. He also comes into conflict with the big-city detective assigned to the case. The story has drawn comparisons to a number of hit thrillers involving distraught or grieving parents, including Taken and Mystic River (as well as the aforementioned Silence of the Lambs and Se7en). Given all the buzz surrounding the script, I'm still looking forward to this, but not as much as I was before. You?