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Shankar backing ‘Expendables’ riff with female stars

1984 Private Defense Contractors tap scribe for star-studded actioner

Just as “The Expendables 2” explodes into theaters, Adi Shankar’s banner 1984 Private Defense Contractors has tapped Dutch Southern to write an all-female riff on the star-studded action franchise.

Shankar (“The Grey”) will produce for 1984 Private Defense Contractors, which plans to fully finance the “Expendables”-inspired project. Company is already in talks with several prominent actresses affiliated with the action genre.

2012 has been a banner year for female-driven actioners like “The Hunger Games,” “Snow White and the Huntsman” and the Gina Carano-toplined “Haywire.”

Shankar’s shingle recently co-financed Joe Carnahan’s “The Grey,” Marc Forster’s “Machine Gun Preacher” and Andrew Dominik’s upcoming Brad Pitt-starrer “Killing Them Softly,” as well as Allen Hughes’ thriller “Broken City,” which pairs Mark Wahlberg with Russell Crowe.

Southern has a history with 1984 Private Defense Contractors, as back in April 2011, the company acquired his 2010 Black List script “Hoof Harrington’s Greatest Hits,” the story of a semi-retired hitman that has been described as “‘Die Hard’ by way of Wes Anderson.”

Southern is repped by the Gersh Agency, Energy Entertainment and Hansen Jacobson.

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