March 1, 2012

Daniel Espinosa Could Direct Yakuza Film The Outsider, Fassbender Might Star

Variety is reporting some rather large updates on the development of Warner Bros' The Outsider. The WWII era action film takes place in Japan with the backdrop of the notorious Yakuza. They say the studio is in early talks with Swedish director Daniel Espinosa to helm the period action film. It movie focuses on a WWII POW, who is broken out by the Yakuza and forces him to work for the criminal syndicate. Andrew Baldwin will write the script and is also working with WB and director Nicolas Winding Refn on their remake of Logan's Run.

Espinosa burst onto the screen when his Swedish crime thriller Snabba Cash quickly became one of the coolest films of 2011. Cash is now heading towards a trilogy with the second film starring Joel Kinnaman expected to release sometime this year. He would eventually land his first Hollywood gig Safe House directing Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds in the CIA thriller that ended up with #1 spot.

Another interesting aspect is that the studio is looking at Michael Fassbender for the lead role. Previously it was reported Leonardo DiCaprio was being eyed for the role but it looks like Warners is hedging their bets with other options. Fassbender has already lined up roles for the spring/summer with Ridley Scott's The Counselor going first than a supporting role in Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave. The Outsider would be excellent film for Michael as he can fire on sides here. I feel like this could be the next Eastern Promises mets Departed if done properly. Also, the move to hire a cast mostly made up of Japanese actors is the best way to go here. The studio distributed the hard boiled Yakuza film Outrage domestically and it would awesome to see those actors in Outsider as well.

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