Helmer Twohy tapped for trio of pics

David Twohy has set up a trio of writing assignments, one of which will turn his original heist pic premise into “The Brazilian Job,” the sequel to Paramount hit remake “The Italian Job.”

Twohy, whom Par has also tapped to direct his script “The Would-Be Warrior” for Nickelodeon Films (he’ll also write sci-fi actioner “The Break” for Columbia), found his way into the “Job” sequel by accident.

“I came in to pitch my own heist picture called ‘The Wrecking Crew,’ something I planned to direct myself, ” said Twohy, who has helmed “Pitch Black” and “The Chronicles of Riddick” and whose script credits include “The Fugitive” and “G.I. Jane.”

Twohy said Donald De Line and John Goldwyn, who took the meeting, liked his idea but suggested it would be best suited for the sequel. (Similarly, George Nolfi’s heist script “Honor Among Thieves” was shanghaied into “Ocean’s Twelve”). Twohy said yes, even though he was fully aware he would be waxed from the “Brazilian Job” directing assignment by returning helmer F. Gary Gray.

“Gary brought such style and energy to what could have been a formulaic exercise in the remake that he deserves the chance to direct the sequel,” Twohy said. Par is expecting the entire original cast to head to Rio de Janeiro for the sequel, and the studio is already being courted by automakers eager to exploit the resurgence that the original pic created for the Mini Cooper.

Paramount made Twohy’s sacrifice more palatable by making sure he had another pic to direct. The studio and Nick’s Julia Pistor sparked to his script “The Would-Be Warrior” and set him as its helmer.

“It’s a fantasy adventure in the ‘Jumanji’ vein, involving a modern 15-year-old boy who gets caught in a centuries-old feud between Norse gods,” the ICM-repped Twohy said. “It’s good, crazy fun. It has visual effects and lots of action, but it pokes fun at other grandiose sword and sorcery epics.”

Pistor will produce, and Twohy’s pic partner Camille Brown will be associate producer.

Twohy will return to his sci-fi roots with “The Break,” a new version of the long-in-development film “Alien Prison.” That project, which Douglas Wick has developed for years with a number of writers and filmmakers including Roland Emmerich, had revolved around earthlings who attempt an escape from the aliens who’ve snatched them for experimental purposes.

In the version Twohy has hashed out with Wick and partner Lucy Fisher, “The Break” will have a more traditional jailbreak tone.

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“Doug Wick and I are big fans of classic escape films from ‘Stalag 17′ to ‘Cool Hand Luke,’ and this seems like a good opportunity to reintroduce the formula,” Twohy said. “It’s ‘Independence Day’ if things had gone wrong and the humans are imprisoned here on Earth.”

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