‘Expendables’ Nispel’s next plunge

Actioner is 'Dirty Dozen'-like drama originated by scribe Smith

Marcus Nispel, whose feature directing bow “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” opens tomorrow, is in negotiations to take on “The Expendables” for Warner Bros. Pictures.

Actioner would be the first big-budget pic for Nispel, who will develop the project with an eye to direct.

“The Expendables” is a “Dirty Dozen”-like drama originated by writer Scott Smith (“The Score”) and rewritten by Scott Rosenberg (“Gone in Sixty Seconds”).

Plot is inspired by a real-life program at California’s Chino prison in which convicts are taught diving skills that can provide them with lucrative salvage and ship-repair careers following their parole.

Warners-based Dylan Sellers produces the pic, with studio exec veepee Kevin McCormick overseeing the project.

Warners has made several runs at getting “The Expendables” off the ground, with D.J. Caruso (“The Salton Sea”) and Frank Marshall (“Seabiscuit”) previously attached to the project.

The Endeavor-repped Nispel directed more than 1,000 musicvids and commercials before taking on “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” which was produced by Radar’s Platinum Dunes and will be released by New Line Cinema.

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