Training Day director Antoine Fuqua to helm gritty crime thriller Prisoners

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Aaron Guzikowski’s spec script Prisoners was first put in the spotlight back in March when the hot property had Mark Wahlberg attached to star. According to reports, the script has been compared to Silence of the Lambs and Se7en, and has been buzzed about throughout Hollywood. The Risky Biz Blog now reports that Alcon Entertainment has nabbed rights to produce Prisoners, and have reconfigured the project at lower budget so it can be fast-tracked. In addition, Training Day, King Arthur, Shooter and the upcoming cop thriller Brooklyn’s Finest director Antoine Fuqua is now in talks to helm the film, with preproduction set to start shortly for a likely January or February 2010 shoot. Alcon is eyeing an October 2010 release through Warner Brothers.

Prisoners is described as a dark tale centering on a small-town man who, after his daughter and her friend are kidnapped and the cops fail to solve the crime, takes matters into his own hands, holding hostage the person he suspects committed the crime. He also comes into conflict with the big-city detective assigned to the case. The story has drawn comparisons to a number of hit thrillers involving distraught or grieving parents, including Taken and Mystic River.

Prisoners is certainly in Fuqua’s wheelhouse, but let’s see if he can assemble a cast as impressive as Wahlberg or Christian Bale, who was also rumored to be involved, with Brett Ratner at the helm.

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