Disney has set up action pic “Labor Day” as a starring vehicle for Hong Kong martial artist Jet Li, to be helmed by Robert Schwentke.
Pic will shoot late this year. Schwentke then hopes to follow with the Columbia-based drama “Man With the Football.”
The German-born writer-director made a splash with the film “Tattoo,” and followed up with “The Family Jewels,” a drama to be released later this year. Lauren Shuler Donner and Richard Donner will produce “Labor Day” with Steve Chasman and Mike Aguilar. Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris wrote the original, with Jack Olsen doing a rewrite. Schwentke and Mitch Brian will do another draft.
In the story, an ambitious assistant DA gets the career-making job of prosecuting the son of an elusive crime lord. When the DA’s pregnant wife is taken hostage by the crime lord, the prosecutor asks for help from his wife’s ex-boyfriend, a Chinese gangster. This is risky not only because the DA’s new ally is on the wrong side of the law, but also because the gangster still loves the wife and thinks that saving her life might help win her back. Li will play the ex.
The CAA-repped Schwentke expects to follow with “Football,” a drama about the guy who travels with the president and carries the nuclear launch codes. That actioner was scripted by John Pogue and is being produced by Neal Moritz.