Kidnap thriller Prisoners has been sitting in development jail for so long we imagine it has worn its prison mug down to the nub rattling it across the bars. But here comes the warden with good news! It may have just won parole, as Hugh Jackman is now attached to star for Incendies director Denis Villeneuve.
Jackman will be a small-town carpenter whose life is thrown into chaos when his young daughter and her best friend are kidnapped. Fuelled by vigilante rage, he decides to take matters into his own hands, and kidnaps the man he thinks is responsible. There’s just one teeny little problem: he might have snatched an innocent person…
Back in the strange, barbaric period that citizens of the past called 2009, Prisoners was one of the hot new kids on the block, a Black List script written by Aaron Guzikowski that had actors, directors and studio types all a-flutter. Even before Alcon Entertainment picked it up, the screenplay had the likes of Jackman, Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Bryan Singer and Antoine Fuqua attached at various times.
But by the time 2010 rolled around, things had slowed down considerably, even with Alcon Entertainment pushing the project out to every agent in town. Then Leonardo DiCaprio showed interest and everything heated up again, only to die down. Last year, Michael Fassbender was offered the lead.
And so we come to today, with Jackman seemingly in place and Villeneuve calling the shots. Don’t go thinking that it’ll dash into production, however: there’s the small matter of the rest of the cast to round up and Jackman’s schedule being stuffed with Les Miserables and The Wolverine until later in the year.