Patrick Hughes is temporarily escaping the action comedy genre and diving into sci-fi. Having helmed The Hitman’s Bodyguard and its sequel, he’s now developing a sci-fi film titled War Machine at Lionsgate – not to be confused with the AC/DC song, the superhero ally of Iron Man, the MMA fighter, or the 2017 Brad Pitt war film of the same name.
The film, which Hughes will both write and direct, follows the lives of a group of final recruits working their way through an exhaustingly debilitating special ops boot camp. However, the new recruits get more than they bargained for when they are forced to reckon with a villainous presence from beyond the perimeters of Earth.
Lionsgate president of production, Erin Westerman, announced the project and said in a statement: “Patrick is simply one of the best action directors working today, but what sets his movies apart is his focus on characters that cut through the mayhem. He came to us with a tremendous original idea and we’re thrilled to be shepherding it with Patrick in the driver’s seat.”
Hughes and Lionsgate previously collaborated on both Hitman’s Bodyguard films as well as The Expendables 3, which Hughes also directed, so clearly they have a strong relationship.
Hughes isn’t totally abandoning the action comedy genre though, as he’s already got The Man From Toronto starring Kevin Hart and Woody Harrelson wrapped and ready for a 2022 release. That revolves around a mix up between a notorious hitman and a regular screw-up from New York, and is scheduled to arrive next August.
So we’ll see what Hughes can do when he replaces comedy with sci-fi. There’s currently no other details regarding War Machine, but Hughes and Lionsgate will be hoping it performs better than the aforementioned 2017 film of the same name, which landed with a thud on Netflix and hasn’t been thought about by anyone since.