John McTiernan to direct ‘Shrapnel’

Breuls, Rhulen are set to produce the action thriller

John McTiernan has inked a deal to direct action thriller “Shrapnel” for Belgian production and financing company Corsan and L.A.-based FilmEngine.

Corsan CEO Paul Breuls and FilmEngine CEO Anthony Rhulen will produce the project, which will be introduced to foreign buyers at the Toronto Film Festival by Corsan prexy of international sales Pascal Borno.

Scribe Evan Daugherty penned “Shrapnel,” which made the 2008 Black List. Storyline revolves around two war veterans who hunt each other in a deadly game of cat and mouse.

“From the first time we read Evan’s script, we believed we had the makings of a hit action film. With John McTiernan involved, the financing fell into place, and we expect to announce casting very soon,” Rhulen said.

The Paradigm Motion Picture Finance Group packaged the pic and will rep domestic rights.

What is unclear is what impact McTiernan’s legal tangle will have on the project. He faces sentencing on Oct. 4 after he pled guilty in July to making false statements to law enforcement officials when he was questioned during their investigation of Hollywood private detective Anthony Pellicano. A spokeswoman for the director said that the plea was conditional based on the results of his appeal.

McTiernan, who has directed action thrillers including “Die Hard” and “The Hunt for Red October,” was last in theaters in 2003 with “Basic.”

Breuls said McTiernan’s track record is consistent with the “quality of filmmakers that Corsan is committed to supporting.”

Corsan is in post on Lee Tamahori’s “The Devil’s Double,” starring Dominic Cooper and Ludivine Sagnier, and in pre-production on Roland Joffe’s “Singularity.” Joffe begins lensing the $27 million pic in six weeks. Corsan is currently in theaters worldwide with romantic comedy, “Meant to Be,” directed by Breuls. FilmEngine’s slate includes “The Rum Diaries,” financed and produced with GK Films.

McTiernan, Corsan and FilmEngine are repped by Paradigm; Daugherty is repped by FilmEngine.