by: Madison Barnes
Paramount is not playing around. They’re currently pursuing two huge names – one red hot actor and another legendary producer/director to head their new action film ALPHA about a special forces team sent to rescue hostages in South America. Chris Hemsworth is currently their top pick to play Lieutenant Leon Bielski, the military commander leading the rescue platoon. Martin Campbell has been loosely attached to direct since last year, but an acquisition of either one would be enough to push this film straight through development.
The project was previously set up at DreamWorks, which paid $1.25 million against $2 million for the original pitch by David Benioff. If that doesn’t show you how hot this concept is, then perhaps the string of writers will. A plethora of high-profile scribes have come and gone including Janet Batchler, Lee Batchler, Graham Roland, and Carl Ellsworth. Scott Frank is the current writer on the script, with many big films under his belt, including “Saving Private Ryan,” “Entrapment,” “Minority Report,” “Dawn of the Dead,” “Night at the Museum,” and most recently “The Wolverine” (among others).
Another big Hollywood player, production company Parkes/MacDonald, is also attached to produce. They’ve put out a string of hot films recently including “The Time Machine,” “The Kite Runner,” “Sweeny Todd,” “The Uninvited,” and “Flight,” and their involvement in conjunction with the other big names circling the project is indicative that the producers and the studio are willing to spend big on a project they agree has big potential.
Josh Phillips and Peter Kang are overseeing the project at Paramount, along with executive Marc Resteghini from Parkes/MacDonald. Both Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald from the company are also attached to produce.