Neither is attached to the project yet, but that’s who producer Shawn Levy is talking to at the moment, and frankly, I think this is a really intriguing pairing. The action-thriller certainly feels like the right fit for Jordan, who stumbled with Fox’s Fantastic Four reboot in 2015, but quickly soared once again with Creed later that same year.
The 2005 Korean film starred Lee Byung-hun as a mobster whose boss orders him to kill one of his mistresses. When the two grow close, it prompts the man to question his loyalty to his crime family.
Should Jordan sign on and the film proves to be a hit, Fox could find itself with a nice mid-sized franchise on its hands similar to Sony’s The Equalizer — another character-driven franchise boasting diversity both in front of and behind the camera.
Levy (Arrival) is producing A Bittersweet Life under his 21 Laps banner along with Dan Levine and Dan Cohen, while CJ Entertainment, which produced the original film, is also involved. Fox executive Jason Young will oversee the project for the studio.
While Nelson may not be the first filmmaker who comes to mind for something like this, it would be an interesting departure for her, and it may be a sign that Fox and 21 Laps are pleased with how The Darkest Minds is turning out. She comes from the world of animation, having previously directed the Kung Fu Panda sequels for DreamWorks Animation.
Jordan next stars in Marvel’s Black Panther, and he’s currently filming Ramin Bahrani’s HBO movie Fahrenheit 451. He’s also set to return for a Creed sequel that Sylvester Stallone is still writing for MGM.
Jordan is represented by MGMT and WME, which also reps Nelson and 21 Laps. Deadline broke the news of this potential teaming, though sources caution that it’s still very early on the dealmaking front.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief