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Simon West to Direct Fantasy-Action Movie ‘War Wolf’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Veteran action director Simon West has been set to helm “War Wolf,” with shooting set for Italy in November, Variety has learned.

Producers are Ileen Maisel, Lawrence Elman and Jib Polhemus. West will direct from a script by Andy Briggs and Paul Finch.

Fortitude Intl. will launch international sales in Cannes. “War Wolf” is the first in a planned franchise of films under a partnership among West, Fortitude and Amber Entertainment centered around the magical world of the Loup de Guerre.

Finch, author of the “Heck” crime novels, is currently working on a novelization of the project.

“War Wolf” is set in 1356, after decades of war between the French and English armies, with English solider Earl Hugo awarded the castle of his enemy, the French assassin Mauchet. But in the walls of the castle and the lands that surround it, someone has reawakened the Loup de Guerre, the ferocious War Wolf of French legend and the nightmarish creature is now on a killing spree.

The special effects makeup and costuming for the project will be created by Dave Elsey and Lou Elsey, co-founders of the Igor Studios. The Elseys have worked on “Mission: Impossible,” “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith” and “Wolves.” Dave Elsey and Rick Baker shared an Academy Award for the 2010 “The Wolfman.”

“The popularity of the fantasy genre around the globe continues to grow and the fierce world of ‘War Wolf’ is an electric story,” said Fortitude’s Nadine de Barros. “Under the masterful direction of Simon West and the brilliant team of Dave and Lou Elsey behind the special effects makeup, this film is going to blow people away with both the look of this fantastical world and the intense storytelling.”

West’s directing credits include “Con Air,” “The Expendables 2” and “The Mechanic.”

Maisel’s credits include “The Golden Compass” and “Inkheart.” Elman produced “Romeo and Juliet,” starring Douglas Booth and Hailee Steinfeld.

Fortitude’s Cannes slate includes “Layover,” starring Penelope Cruz; “Drunk Parents,” starring Alec Baldwin, Salma Hayek and Joe Manganiello, currently in post-production; “The Brits Are Coming,” with Uma Thurman, Tim Roth and Stephen Fry; and “Marjorie Prime,” starring Jon Hamm, Lois Smith, Geena Davis and Tim Robbins.

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