Lionsgate has taken worldwide rights to The Killer’s Game, an action comedy package that has Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3) set to star and JJ Perry (Day Shift) aboard to direct. The studio will launch sales at the Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off tomorrow.
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Based on Jay Bonansinga’s same-name novel, The Killer’s Game follows veteran assassin Joe Flood (Bautista), who is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness and authorizes a kill on himself to avoid the pain that is destined to follow. After ordering the kill, he finds out that he was misdiagnosed and must then fend off the army of former colleagues trying to kill him.
Rand Ravich and Simon Kinberg (X-Men series) wrote the film, with James Coyne handling recent rewrites. Mad Chance’s Andrew Lazar will produce alongside Steve Richards for Endurance Media, which is financing the project, as well as Kia Jam. Bautista and Jonathan Meisner will exec produce for Dogbone Entertainment, along with Scott Lambert, with Jake Katofsky and Vanessa Humphrey to serve as co-producers.
John Biondo and Christopher Davis negotiated deals on behalf of the studio, and additional casting is currently underway, with production set to kick off this summer.
“We are so thrilled to be making The Killer’s Game with Lionsgate and Endurance,” said Mad Chance’s Lazar. “We have searched far and wide and we finally found the perfect Joe Flood in Dave Bautista, who balances compelling action and incredible comic timing better than anyone else. And with JJ Perry at the helm, we know this film will deliver the kind of wholly original and unique action that global audiences crave.”
Stated Endurance Media’s Richards, “Lionsgate is the perfect home for this project. They have consistently proven their ability to connect action audiences with the best films in the genre. We are believers that The Killer’s Game is the perfect mix of action and comedy, and right now, there’s no one better at threading that needle than Dave Bautista. We can’t wait to get started.”
“Andrew and Steve brought us a package we couldn’t refuse,” added Lionsgate Motion Picture Group President, Nathan Kahane. “We foresee strong interest from the marketplace, and we’re confident that its mix of bold action, star power, and fun writing will thrill audiences everywhere.”
Recently appearing in M. Night Shyamalan’s thriller Knock at the Cabin and Rian Johnson’s Knives Out sequel Glass Onion for Netflix, Bautista can currently be seen in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, the final installment in James Gunn’s Marvel film series. This fall, he’ll reprise his role as Glossu Rabban Harkonnen in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two.
Launching his career as a stunt coordinator and second unit director before moving into directing, Perry recently made his feature directorial debut with Day Shift, the Netflix action comedy starring Jamie Foxx, Snoop Dogg and Dave Franco, which spent over 2 weeks at #1 on the platform.
Bautista is represented by CAA, Meisner Entertainment Group, and Jackoway Austen Tyerman; Perry by WME, manager Holly Jeter, and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern; Ravich by 3 Arts Entertainment; Kinberg by CAA and Jackoway Austen Tyerman; Coyne by Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment, Gersh, and Felker Toczek Suddleson.
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