Carnahan to direct Bateman in revenge film

Universal Pictures has acquired “The Remarkable Fellows,” a pitch for an action buddy comedy that Joe Carnahan will write to direct. Jason Bateman, who hatched the film’s premise, will produce with Carnahan and Richard Gladstein.

Bateman, who was part of the manic ensemble of Carnahan’s last film, “Smokin’ Aces,” cooked up an outline with the writer-director and then hooked the studio.

Carnahan is writing the script before he begins pre-production on “White Jazz,” the adaptation of the James Ellroy book that was scripted by Matthew Michael Carnahan and will star George Clooney.

“The Remarkable Fellows” revolves around two brothers who take over the family business, which involves exacting revenge for clients.

Bateman will play one of the brothers. The duo, who are “part James Bond and part Ricky Jay,” get assignments “from their father and carry them out all over the world,” Bateman said. “The revenge scenario is dependent on the intricacy of the plot. If the president of a major bank was sleeping with the French ambassador’s wife, the banker would call these guys.”

Bateman is about to start the Peter Berg-directed “Tonight, He Comes” alongside Will Smith and Charlize Theron. He’ll next be seen starring in the Berg-directed “The Kingdom,” which Universal releases Sept. 28, and then stars with Natalie Portman in the Zach Helm-directed “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium,” which Mandate and Fox Walden release Nov. 16.

He’s repped by UTA and 3 Arts, Carnahan by Endeavor.

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