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Just a month before his new movie The Foreigner with Jackie Chan hits theaters, filmmaker Martin Campbell has been attached to direct Treasure of Ali Baba & The 40 Thieves, an action-adventure adapted from the 1001 Arabian Knights tale.
Campbell is best known for his work on the James Bond franchise, directing Goldeneye and Casino Royale, but he took a short breather after directing Warner Bros’ Green Lantern in 2011. Apparently, there was something about Dave Holstein’s screenplay for an Ali Baba movie that got him interested in taking on another epic film.
The project was developed by Ehud Bleiberg with Mansur Alhmed, and Bleiberg will be producing the film with Danny Dimbort, Nicholas Donnermeyer and Robert K. MacLean. Marc Bikindou and Tiffany Boyle are executive producers. Bleiberg and Dimbort plan on bringing the project to Toronto to find buyers and sell the worldwide rights.
The movie is about “an adventure novelist who gets caught up in a global conspiracy and a hunt for a mysterious antiquity after discovering his father had a map to the legendary treasure of Ali Baba.” He then must team up with a cartographer (i.e. a map maker) to find the artifacts before they fall into the hands of the 40 Thieves in the title, who have now become a powerful international syndicate of criminals.
Campbell’s next movie The Foreigner, set for release by STXfilms on Oct 13, reteams the director with Pierce Brosnan from Goldeneye and puts Jackie Chan back in an American-produced film for the first time in many years.
Campbell already plans to reteam with Brosnan again for Across the River and Into the Trees, the Ernest Hemingway novel adaptation which is also produced by MacLean, Dimbort and Bleiberg. Plans are to film that in the spring once Brosnan finishes on the next season of The Son.
Ali Baba will be an interesting return for Campbell to bigger action fare for the first time since Green Lantern, and it should be interesting to see if a studio comes on board to provide what’s expected to be a fairly big budget.
Dimbort will also be in Toronto for the premiere of the remake of Papillon, starring Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek, on which he’s an executive producer.
The initial story was reported by Deadline.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor