James Watkins to write, direct action film

Warner Bros. has acquired “Methuselah,” an action adventure James Watkins will write and direct.

David Heyman will produce through his WB-based Heyday banner.

The title comes from the biblical character who lived nearly 1,000 years. The film’s protagonist ages at a similarly slow rate and has used all the extra time to develop an incredible set of survival skills.

Watkins made his directing debut on the genre film “Eden Lake,” which he wrote.

Watkins once worked part time as a development exec for “Harry Potter” producer Heyman, and they stayed in touch. WB’s London-based production exec Ollie Madden plugged the studio into the deal, and WB bought it before other studios got a peek.

“What I wanted was to come up with an adrenalized thriller that has a bit of intelligence and resonance,” Watkins told Daily Variety. “My relationship with David was fundamental to this outcome, and Warner Bros. president Kevin McCormick just understood the elevated action thriller I’m trying to make.”

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