Justin Lin Opens The Dryden File

Introducing a new action hero...

You might think he'd want a break from VAROOM and KERSMASH after four instalments of the Fast and Furious franchise, but Justin Lin is now attached to another action thriller. The as-yet-untitled and not-yet-published Patrick Lee novel he's acquired is intended as the first in a new series.

The book and its planned follow-ups centre on Sam Dryden, an ex-special forces operative who now walks the world and gets in adventures (or something). The first one sees Dryden on the run with a "mysterious young girl who is not quite what she seems", as dogged government agents pursue.

A bit of Bourne, a bit of Safe, a bit of this, a bit of that... This "not quite what she seems" business may hint at a more fantastical direction than your average Jack Reacher though: Patrick Lee's previous airport doorstops do Da Vinci Code-style globe-trotting and artefect-chasing, but also incorporate sci-fi elements like dimensional rifts. Will this attempt something similar? Is the girl an alien? A cyborg? An experimental biological weapon? A fourth Olsen?

Whatever, the story is described as "character-driven", so although we know next-to-nothing about Dryden as yet, it should be a plumb role for whoever lands him. Warners are clearly confident, winning out in an energetic auction with several other studios for the rights to the nascent franchise.

Lin is currently finishing up Fast & Furious 6, and still has a foot in the Highlander camp, although he's no longer directing that one. On top of his directing duties, he'll also produce what we'll call Sam Dryden for now, along with Michael De Luca and Elaine Chin.

These are exctiing - and lucrative - times for Patrick Lee: David Goyer is currently working on an adaptation of another of his novels, The Breach. The first Sam Dryden novel will be published by Macmillan this winter.