Right guy for ‘Wrong’ pic

Early fall start date slated for Ford in underdog-hero drama

Mark Pellington will direct Harrison Ford in “The Wrong Element,” a Joe Forte-scripted drama co-financed by Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures.

Jon Shestack and Beacon Communications chairman Armyan Bernstein are producing the pic; VRP’s Bruce Berman exec produces.

The drama casts Ford in familiar underdog-hero terrain. He plays a security chief for a global bank whose family is kidnapped. If he wants to save them, he needs to infiltrate his own foolproof security system and steal $37 million without being nabbed as a bad guy himself.

Pellington directed “Arlington Road” and “The Mothman Prophecies.” He has helmed commercials, TV and musicvideos while waiting for the next feature. He got “The Wrong Element” gig after a meeting with Ford and the producers.

“I read it with Harrison in mind and could see him so clearly in a role that moviegoers want to see him in,” Pellington said. “What really sparked my interest was the contemporary and timely nature of the fears and villains in the piece.”

WB has set an early fall start date for the pic.

Forte will get his first screen credit after years of knocking out scripts. Not long ago, he turned down a different Beacon assignment because he’d been given the go-ahead to direct his script “The Hunters” for a German backer that subsequently went belly-up. He then hatched “The Wrong Element” and, with Shestack, took the pic to Signpost, which also flatlined. Then it was on to MGM, which put the project in turnaround.

Bernstein then came aboard, desiring to make another pic with his “Air Force One” star. That became possible when Ford’s plans to reprise his Indiana Jones role this year fell by the wayside. WB and VRP then agreed to provide the financing.

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