Avary heading ‘Mexicali’ way

Helmer to direct Paxton starrer for Destination

NEW YORK — Roger Avary has been set to direct Bill Paxton in “Mexicali,” a Destination thriller that will begin production this summer.

In the film, written by Paul Scheuring and Christian Gudegast, Paxton will play a retired stuntman who gets married and takes his honeymoon in Mexico. The romantic getaway goes awry when the newlyweds witness a drug killing. Before the ex-stuntman knows it, his wife turns up missing, possibly kidnapped, and he must use his wits to avoid a ruthless group of killers and make his way back across the U.S. border.

Jonathan Mostow, who directed the similarly themed “Breakdown,” and his partner Hal Lieberman will produce with Paxton and his American Entertainment partner Tom Huckabee, as well as Vince Newman and Tucker Tooley. Mostow/Lieberman’s Paul Neesan will oversee the pic.

Avary, who shared a best screenplay Oscar with Quentin Tarantino for “Pulp Fiction” and made his directing debut with the edgy indie “Killing Zoe,” will take a quick pass at the script before getting under way, with an eye toward bolstering the role of the wife. Avary was brought in to the project by Mostow and Lieberman after scripting “Seconds,” a pic that Mostow will direct at Paramount with Lieberman producing. Paxton is repped by Endeavor, Avary by CAA.

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