'Doomsday' helmer to adapt Sallis novel

Neil Marshall has signed with Universal to direct “Drive,” an adaptation of the James Sallis novel. Hugh Jackman is attached to play a Hollywood stunt driver who moonlights as a getaway car driver in heists.

Hossein Amini wrote the script, and Marc Platt is producing with Jackman and his Seed Prods. partner John Palermo.

“Drive” marks Marshall’s first big studio job for a non-genre picture, and Universal hopes to make it this summer. Scheduling will determine whether Jackman gets behind the wheel for the L.A. set action thriller.

In the book, the stuntman’s already-exciting existence gets jolted when he discovers that a contract has been put out on his life.

“This is something I haven’t done before, and I’ve wanted to bring a British sensibility to an L.A. shoot and a scorched classic film noir concept,” Marshall told Daily Variety. “Hoss is a fantastic writer, and he’s written three amazing car chases in the film. He’s turned them into dramatic scenes as opposed to the usual crash, bang, wallop. I would like to be shooting it this summer.”

Deal marks the second recent pact for Marshall at Universal after signing to write and direct “Sacrilege,” a horror story set in the Old West, at U-based Rogue Pictures, where Marshall wrote and directed “Doomsday.”

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