Howard plays Alphonse Hoyt, a charming but brutal crime lord who is accustomed to being feared but is thrown off guard when a mysterious tormenter (Farrell) starts sabotaging his business from within and picks off his men one by one as revenge for the death of a family member. Along the way, the insider is seduced and blackmailed by a crime victim (Rapace) also seeking retribution.
Niels Arden Oplev (behind the original “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) starts lensing the pic this month in Philadelphia from a script by J.H. Wyman. Dominic Cooper also is in talks to co-star in the project.
Thesp most recently starred in “Red Tails,” produced by George Lucas, and will next be seen in Robert Redford’s thriller “The Company You Keep,” Walter Salles’ drama “On the Road,” based on the Jack Kerouac book, and the indie thriller “House of Bodies,” with Queen Latifah and Peter Fonda.
Neal Moritz will produce “Dead Man Down” through his Original Films banner, while Wyman also gets a producing credit through Frequency Films. Original’s Ori Marmur is exec producing with Reid Shane of Frequency.
CAA represents the film’s domestic distribution rights, while financier IM Global is handling international sales.
Howard is repped by CAA and manager Renee Tab, at Sentient Entertainment, along with attorney Jeff Shumway.
(Jeff Sneider contributed to this report).