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.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Chinese director Jia Zhangke at the

    Iconic Chinese Auteur Jia Zhangke Touts Trio of Projects at Pingyao

    No one attending the Pingyao International Film Festival can escape learning about Jia Zhangke’s upcoming projects, with the same three trailers for them playing before each and every screening. The art house icon, turned businessman is ever-present in the historic town. First off, there is a new collaboration between Jia and Momo, a Chinese social [...]

  • Plans to Build New Film Studio

    Plans for New London Film Studio Run Into Difficulties

    Plans to build a major new film and TV studio complex in London to take advantage of Britain’s production boom have run into difficulties. Be First, the local Barking and Dagenham Council’s regeneration company spearheading the project, says that Los Angeles-based developer Pacifica Ventures will no longer be involved in the project. Pacifica was selected [...]

  • La Rouei

    Lumiere Festival to Premiere Epic Restoration of 'La Roue'

    LYON, France  —  This coming Saturday and Sunday, the Lumière Festival will turn back the clock nearly one hundred years as the festival premieres a new completed reconstruction of Abel Gance’s 1923 masterpiece “La Roue” (“The Wheel”) that restores the classic to its original 7.5 hour length. Consisting of a prologue and four movements, “La [...]

  • Lina Wertmuller portrait

    Lina Wertmuller’s Exceptional Career Revisited

    In the still American-led realm of the Academy Awards, it’s unusual for the helmer of a film not in the English language to score a Best Director nomination. It’s far rarer still, meanwhile, for a woman to be nominated in the category at all: just five have done so in 91 years. Only one director, [...]

  • Fifth Seal

    Lumière Festival Honors Hungary, Screens Classics ‘Women,’ ‘The Fifth Seal’

    For the fifth year running, Lyon’s Lumière Festival will honor Hungarian cinema and invite guests of the Hungarian National Film Fund to present two classic Hungarian films from important national filmmakers, Márta Mészáros’ “Ők ketten” (“Women”) and Zoltán Fábri’s “Fifth Seal.” Both films will be presented by Lumière Festival special guest Marina Vlady on Oct [...]

  • Godzilla

    Criterion Collection President Peter Becker on Storytelling, Bergman vs Godzilla, B-movies

    LYON, France  —  The Lumière Festival’s International Classic Film Market (MIFC) kicked off on Tuesday in Lyon, France, with a keynote address by Criterion Collection President Peter Becker. The exec discussed the company’s storied history and evolution over the decades into a leading publisher of classic and contemporary films from around the world in high-quality [...]

  • Manuel Chiche

    Boutique Distributor Manuel Chiche Offers A State of The Industry

    LYON, France  — Manuel Chiche is riding high. Since June, his boutique distribution outlet The Jokers set admission records with Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite,” selling nearly 1.7 million tickets in France and still going strong as the film heads into its 19th week in theaters. Indeed, “Parasite” is now the second most successful Palme d’Or winner of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content