John Swetnam’s Female Assassin Spec “Ruthless” May Spark Bidding War After “John Wick” (Exclusive)


John Wick Lionsgate

Update (02.15.17 6pm): In a high six-figure deal, Amblin Partners won the bidding war for ’s spec Ruthless. Brad Peyton is attached to direct, and Tripp Vinson will produce with Matti Lesham and Lynn Harris. Tara Farney will executive produce.

and are out with , a hot new action-thriller spec from , the writer of Into the Storm and Step Up All In.

The project is being described as being in the vein of John Wick, but with a female protagonist. Here’s the logline:

When a legendary retired assassin is diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, she must return to the life she left behind and complete one final in order to secure a future for her young daughter. Think a female John Wick. Or more accurately, think a female who could kick John Wick’s ass.

We’re told that several A-list actresses were slipped the script over the weekend and have been trying to attach themselves as the lethal lead.

Hollywood has been desperate for more female-driven action movies following the success of films like Salt and Lucy. Updates of Ghost in the Shell and Tomb Raider are on the horizon, but those are both expensive films, and a female-driven action movie made on a John Wick-ish budget could make a killing at the box office.

There will only be one buyer standing after this bidding war, so be sure and stay tuned to the Tracking Board for more.

Swetnam is not expected to produce or direct Ruthless, though he does have the drama KRawl in at MTV, and he’s looking to direct his second feature, the Lucas Till-led sci-fi thriller Spectrum. He’s represented by ’s David Boxerbaum and Industry’s Michael Botti.

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