Tillman, Teitel get their ‘Man’

Duo to re-make Hong Kong actioner for 20th

Getting into the action game, George Tillman Jr. and Robert Teitel, the filmmakers behind the Fox hit “Soul Food,” have teamed with screenwriter/director John Ridley (“U-Turn”) to remake Benny Chan’s Hong Kong action pic “Man Wanted” for 20th Century Fox.

Tillman, who wrote and directed “Soul Food,” will direct the pic from Ridley’s screenplay, and Teitel will produce. Ridley also will serve as executive producer. It’s understood that Chuck Gordon also will receive a producer credit, although which credit is not clear at this time.

Chan’s 1995 pic tells the story of a police detective who emerges from a year deep undercover only to find himself battling feelings of guilt, honor, betrayal and passion for a woman he left behind — forces that, along with a vengeful drug lord, conspire to drag him back to the wrong side of the law.

Fox prexy of production Tom Rothman will oversee the pic along with VP of production Michael Jenkinson, who is credited with bringing Ridley and the “Soul Food” team together.

“What I like about this story is that it is not a straight-ahead cop story,” Ridley told Daily Variety. “There are a lot of twists in the story — you have five different characters who all are very gray about who is good and who is bad.”

Ridley was the catalyst behind the Fox project, having discovered the pic on laserdisc, then optioning the remake rights out of his own pocket earlier this year (Daily Variety, Feb. 3).

He said he will begin work on “Man Wanted” as soon as he finishes the Renny Harlin-helmed vehicle “Formula One” for New Line Cinema. The busy scribe, whose second novel, “Love Is a Racket,” is due out in August from Knopf, also penned the adaptation of Lorenzo Carcaterra’s novel “Apaches” for producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney; and “Three Kings” (formerly “Spoils of War”) for Warner Bros.

“Man Wanted” is the latest addition to the blossoming slate of Tillman and Teitel’s State St. Pictures. Among the films they are developing under their deal with Fox 2000 are “Love Supreme,” a drama which Tillman will direct from his own screenplay; and the action-drama “Navy Diver,” scripted by Scott Smith and with Tillman slated to direct. Teitel will produce both pictures.

Though their projects are in varying degrees of development, Tillman and Teitel have not targeted which film, including “Man Wanted,” will be their follow-up to “Soul Food.”