Columbia’s stalled ship shaping up

Thriller delayed by 9/11

Columbia Pictures is lining up Vin Diesel to star in “Dreadnaught,” with Dominic Sena negotiating to direct the naval action thriller. Studio hopes to put it into production this fall.

In “Dreadnaught,” the rookie captain of the Navy’s newest stealth ship mutinies when his crew accidentally shoots down a passenger jet. He is ordered to kill the jet’s sole survivor to cover up the mishap.

The pic was initially meant to be helmer McG’s next film after “Charlie’s Angels,” but “Dreadnaught” was pushed into the depths of development after the events of 9/11. There were concerns that its subject matter would make it impossible to film.

However, the studio threw the project a life jacket a year ago by making a deal with scribes Christopher Wilkinson and Stephen J. Rivele (“Ali” and “Nixon”) to rewrite the pic.

“Dreadnaught” was first penned by Blake Masters and later rewritten by Dan Gilroy and David Arata.

At one point, Will Smith considered starring in the film.

Riding Red Wagon

Red Wagon Prods.’ Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher will produce the film, with Cooper Layne and Sean Bailey also in a producing role. Project is overseen by exec VP production Amy Baer.

Diesel will segue to “Dreadnaught” after wrapping “Riddick” for Universal Pictures. That film is skedded to begin shooting in June.

Sena’s credits include “Swordfish” as well as “Gone In 60 Seconds.”

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