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‘Taken’ Director Pierre Morel to Helm Action-Thriller ‘The Blacksmith’

“Taken” director Pierre Morel has signed to helm “The Blacksmith,” an action thriller that will be financed by Stuart Ford’s AGC Studios.

The deal was announced Thursday as part of AGC’s slate at the American Film Market, which opens Nov. 6 in Santa Monica, Ca. UTA, who will co-represent US distribution rights with AGC.

“The Blacksmith” follows Wes Loomis, who operates as a “Blacksmith” – the intelligence community’s go-to weapons expert. When his clandestine lab is destroyed and his colleagues murdered, he must go on the run with only his unique set of technological skills to keep him alive, in a journey that takes him to the heart of his own dark profession. Production will commence in 2020.

Ben Ripley, whose credits include “Source Code” and “Flatliners,” is adapting the script from the graphic novel by Malik Evans and Richard Sparkman. Jon Shestack (“Air Force One”) will produce with Jason Netter (“Wanted”) and Jeremy Stein, with Ford executive producing. Samantha Shear and Bob Sobhani will also executive produce.

“Ben Ripley’s terrific script introduces us to a highly original, new breed of tech savvy action hero in Wes Loomis, and Pierre is the perfect director to bring this franchise to life,” Ford said.

Morel previously directed “Peppermint,” “District 13” and “From Paris With Love.”

AGC’s recent credits include sci-fi thriller “Voyagers” starring Tye Sheridan, Lily-Rose Depp, and Colin Farrell; Tate Taylor’s feature comedy “Breaking News in Yuba County” with Allison Janney, Mila Kunis, Regina Hall, Awkwafina, and Wanda Sykes; and revenge thriller “The Secrets We Keep” featuring Noomi Rapace and Joel Kinnaman.

Morel was represented in the negotiations by UTA and law firm Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush & Kaller, and is managed by Renee Tab at Sentient. Shestack was represented by law firm Weintraub Tobin  Chediak Coleman Grodin.

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