First, a quick recap…
In 2009, Screen Gems (Sony’s specialty film producing arm) acquired “The Black Phantom,” a spec comedy that was to be produced by Will Packer under his then Rainforest Films production banner, with Doug Aarniokoski attached to make his directing debut.
Aarniokoski was second unit director on the Screen Gems action film “Takers,” on which Packer was also producer.
In “The Black Phantom,” a double-crossed mob hit man turns for help to an unlikely source: the title character, an African American hit man (The Black Phantom) who was hired to kill him.
Rainforest’s Rob Hardy was to executive produce.
Skip ahead 5 years to news earlier this year that Jamie Foxx (who had long been rumored to be attached the project) and Kevin Hart were both in talks to star in the film, with Tim Story in talks to direct (Story and Hart have proven to be a hit team after working together on “Think Like A Man” and, most recently, “Ride Along,” 2 box office successes; both also produced by Will Packer).
Previously rumored to be attached at one time or another within the last 5 years, are Eddie Murphy and Idris Elba in the roles now occupied by Foxx and Hart I would assume.
This afternoon brings word that Samuel L. Jackson is in talks to replace Jamie Foxx in the title role, who’s exiting over scheduling conflicts.
Will Packer is still attached to produce, with Will Gluck, who’s currently filming the re-imagining of “Annie,” which stars Quvenzhané Wallis and Jamie Foxx!
Screen Gems president Clint Culpepper will oversee the project for the studio.
Now if only I can get my hands on the script…
Source: Shadow & Act
The news of Jackson’s potential involvement was first reported by Deadline.