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Oscar Isaac, Jason Clarke trek to ‘Mojave’

'Departed' writer William Monahan to direct thriller from his own script

Two of Hollywood’s up-and-coming leading men are joining forces, as Oscar Isaac (“Inside Llewyn Davis”) and Jason Clarke (“Zero Dark Thirty”) are set to star in writer-director William Monahan’s original thriller “Mojave,” which Atlas Independent is producing with the filmmaker’s Henceforth Pictures banner.

Story is an intense two-hander about a man who escapes into the desert only to encounter a doppelganger-like antagonist and subsequently enter a vortex of criminality and violence.

In addition to writing and directing, Monahan will also produce alongside William Green of Atlas Independent, whose Andy Horwitz will exec produce with Justine Suzanne Jones of Henceforth Pictures. Production is skedded to start early next year.

“Mojave” reteams Atlas Independent with Isaac, who starred in the company’s first production, “Revenge For Jolly!”

Clarke is coming off a breakout year in which he starred in John Hillcoat’s “Lawless” and Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty,” for which he has earned strong reviews that have led to awards buzz. He’s due for a big summer in 2013, with key roles in Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby” and Sony’s actioner “White House Down.” Aussie thesp recently wrapped a lead role as Abraham Lincoln’s father in the Terrence Malick-produced indie “The Green Blade Rises.”

Isaac will soon be seen as the title character in the Coen brothers’ folk music pic “Inside Llewyn Davis.” The Juilliard grad was well-suited for the demanding role, having written and performed original song “Never Had” for “10 Years” that will compete for an Oscar nomination. The “Bourne Legacy” thesp is currently shooting “The Two Faces of January” with Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst, and he recently wrapped LD Entertainment’s adaptation of “Therese Raquin” with Glenn Close and Elizabeth Olsen.

Monahan, who won an Oscar for writing “The Departed,” recently wrote, directed and produced the Colin Farrell-Keira Knightley pic “London Boulevard.” He also penned Robert Rodriguez’s “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” and Par’s remake of “The Gambler” for director Todd Phillips and producer Martin Scorsese.

An affiliate of Charles Roven’s Atlas Entertainment, Atlas Independent produces indie-minded movies with budgets of $10 million or less. Its upcoming releases include Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego’s genre pic “Open Grave,” starring Sharlto Copley.

Isaac is repped by UTA, Inspire Entertainment and SMGSB. Clarke is repped by CAA and Robert Stein Management.

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