Action movie regulars Gerard Butler and Frank Grillo have signed on to star in Joe Carnahan‘s new action-thriller Copshop. The film takes place inside a small-town police station that becomes the unlikely battleground between a professional hitman, a smart rookie cop, and a double-crossing con man who seeks refuge behind bars with no place left to run.
The cop will reportedly be played by a female lead who hasn’t been cast yet. Kurt McLeod penned the first draft of the screenplay, based on a story he and Mark Williams came up with, but Carnahan himself has written the latest draft.
At this point you know what you’re getting with a Butler movie. Even though he’s nowhere near the star power of his 80s contemporaries, he’s taken up the mantle of being the Arnie/Stallone figure of the 21st century, churning out an action movie seemingly every six months.
Carnahan has directed films such as Smokin’ Aces and The Grey, and has generally remained around the action genre his whole career, as has Grillo.
Carnahan and Grillo have actually already collaborated on Carnahan’s film Boss Level, a sci-fi actioner that also stars Mel Gibson, Michelle Yeoh and Naomi Watts.
It was due for release last August but was pulled due to renewed anti-Semitism claims towards Gibson – gee, who could have envisioned that working with him would have turned out to be a poor decision? – so who knows if it will ever be properly released.
“We feel that this is a movie that can play big globally but be made sensibly and we are always looking for this type of ‘elevated genre’ where the writing really drives the action and the drama.
We also couldn’t be happier to have someone with the box-office power of Gerard Butler as our partner in crime on this film”, Carnahan and Grillo said in a joint statement.
The synopsis for Copshop doesn’t exactly scream originality, and judging by the quote above, the people involved in the film sound more interested in making something just so it appeals to a global market than making a film with something to say, but we’ll see.
Filming will take place in New Mesico and Hollywood’s favourite tax haven, Georgia, when production begins in October. STX Films will present the project to buyers virtually at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival. Open Road Films will release the movie theatrically in the US while STXinternational will handle foreign sales and release the film in the UK and Ireland.