Fuqua ‘Under’ drama’s spell

Helmer, Gibson prep WB pic

Warner Bros. Pictures is negotiating with Antoine Fuqua to direct Mel Gibson in his next picture, “Under and Alone.” Film is being mounted by Icon partners Gibson and Bruce Davey.

Scripted by Ned Zeman and Daniel Barnz, who developed it with Gibson, “Under and Alone” is based on the true story of Vietnam vet William Queen. He channeled his Special Forces training into undercover work with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and became a full-fledged member of the San Fernando chapter of the Mongols motorcycle gang. WB’s Dan Lin is overseeing the picture with Icon senior VP Kevin Lake. Pic’s expected to shoot this summer.

“Under and Alone” will mark Gibson’s first major role in front of the camera since M. Night Shyamalan’s “Signs” in 2002. Though he had a small role in the Icon-produced “The Singing Detective,” Gibson took time off from acting to direct “The Passion of the Christ.”

Fuqua last directed “King Arthur.” Last fall, he was weeks away from beginning production on Universal’s “American Gangster” with Denzel Washington and Benicio Del Toro when the studio bowed out over budget issues.

The film package was engineered by ICM.

(Dana Harris in Los Angeles contributed to this report.)

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