EXCLUSIVE: Guardians of the Galaxy and Dune actor Dave Bautista has found his next big-canvas action movie in the shape of post-apocalyptic adventure story Afterburn, we can reveal.
Oscar nominee Samuel L. Jackson (The Hitman’s Bodyguard, Django Unchained) is also aboard for this one, which is set 10 years after a solar flare has wiped out technology across the globe.
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Bautista will play ex-soldier Jake, who works as a treasure hunter recovering valuable objects from the old world for powerful clients. His latest mission is to team with freedom fighter Drea to recover the Mona Lisa before an unhinged warlord gets there first.
The movie is adapted from the Red 5 comic/graphic novel series of the same name. Jackson will play the supporting role of freedom fighter Valentine. Script comes from Matt Johnson (Into The Blue) with revisions by Nimrod Antal (Control).
Black Bear and CAA Media Finance are launching the project for sales ahead of next week’s European Film Market, where it’ll be one of the biggest-budget new packages with an imminent start date. Principal photography is due to get underway in April in Europe with additional casting underway.
The film will be directed by J.J. Perry, who recently wrapped production on Lionsgate’s The Killer’s Game, also with Bautista, and is known for his work as a second-unit director and stunt coordinator on the John Wick and Fast & The Furious franchises.
Producers are Neal H. Moritz (Fast and Furious franchise) and Toby Jaffe (Total Recall) for Original Film and Steve Richards (Sherlock Holmes franchise, The Matrix trilogy) for Endurance Media, which is also financing. Bautista will also produce through Dogbone Entertainment. Black Bear is handling international sales and CAA Media Finance is repping domestic.
The story has long been a passion project for the producers which first tried to get it into production back in 2018. Six years later it has fresh impetus with different ingredients.
Bautista will next be seen in Dune: Part Two and My Spy: The Eternal City for Amazon through his Dogbone banner. Jackson recently starred in Argylle and has The Garfield Movie and The Piano Lesson coming up.
Perry made his directorial debut on 2O22 film Day Shift, the action-comedy at Netflix starring Jamie Foxx, Dave Franco and Snoop Dogg.
”Afterburn is a terrific action story, combining the fun of Indiana Jones with the near future world building of Children of Men,” said Jaffe. “J.J. is going to bring this to life in a thrilling way, using real practical stunt work to create authentic, visceral set pieces. Dave is one of the leading action stars in the world today, as well as being an actor with real soul and versatility. So excited to be making Afterburn with them both.”
“The combination of Dave Bautista and Sam Jackson in an epic adventure is a sure-fire proposition for the international marketplace,” added Black Bear’s Friedberg, “With an action master like J.J. at the helm, and incredible producers in Steve, Neal and Toby, this is going to be a spectacular cinematic event.”
Bautista is represented by CAA, Meisner Entertainment Group, and Jackoway Austen. Jackson is represented by CAA, Anonymous Content, and Jackoway Austen. Perry is repped by WME, Holly Jeter and Sloane, Offer.
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