Action film concerns death-defying stunt flying

Chuck Russell is writing to direct “Northern Lights,” an action film set in the field of aerobatics — death-defying stunt flying.

Russell is working on a rewrite of a script by David Ellison and Duane Adler; Electric Entertainment’s Dean Devlin is producing with Ellison and his Skydance Prods. banner.

Plan is to begin production in Pic will shoot in Shreveport, La., by fall.

Ellison, the 25-year-old son of Oracle founder Larry Ellison, will partly finance the film. He got his first taste of the movie biz with Devlin on “Flyboys,” the 2006 Tony Bill-directed WWI drama.

The senior Ellison was a financier on the film as was his son, who played a role in the drama. The Ellisons are avid aviation enthusiasts, and David Ellison is a capable stunt flyer who may take a small role in the film.

“Northern Lights” follows the adventures of three young pilots, each determined to be the best at extreme flying, which encompasses taking their planes to 10 Gs and 300 mph, upside down, 10 feet off the ground.

While macho flying has been part of films from “The Aviator” to “The Right Stuff” and “Top Gun,” Russell said extreme flying offers a visual spectacle he hasn’t seen onscreen.

“We’ll be incorporating real-time, world class aerobatic performances with new visual effects technologies that will put the audience right in the pilot’s seat,” Russell said.

Devlin said: “Chuck has a complete grasp on how to bring the tremendous aerial action sequences to life, which complements a rich story.”

Devlin’s Electric is in production on “Curse of the Judas Chalice,” the third installment of the “Librarian” franchise starring Noah Wyle. Devlin also received a 13-episode order from TNT on the drama series “Leverage,” which stars Tim Hutton. Devlin made his directing debut on the pilot, which he’s exec producing with John Rogers.

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