Outside of the Fast & Furious series, neither Paul Walker nor Vin Diesel has proven to be a viable leading man on his own. With the exception of The Pacifier ans xXx, Vin Diesel is hitless. Paul Walker is even worse when it comes to his starring vehicles. His biggest hit where he was the main draw was Disney’s Eight Below.
Walker tends to work better in ensembles (see last year’s Takers), but it looks like he’s itching to do some more running – as if his rooftop chase in Fast Five wasn’t enough.
He’s in talks to star in Brick Mansions, Luc Besson’s American remake of the Paris-set District 13 (Banlieue 13). Besson is writing the script (he co-wrote the original film) with Taken collaborator Robert Mark Kamen.
Walker is to star alongside David Belle, who starred in the original and its sequel District 13: Ultimatum, and is credited as the one who created the sport of Parkour, which involves agility and leaping and climbing around obstacles. Walker will definitely have his work cut out for him. (But I guess that’s why actors have stuntmen as well.)
The premise of Brick Mansions has Walker playing an undercover detective, which by now isn’t much of a reach for him, chasing down a weapon of mass destruction that was stolen by a drug dealer in the ghetto known as Brick Mansions. He seeks help from the incredibly agile Lino (Belle), who knows Brick Mansions better than anyone and is the only person not cowering in fear of the drug dealers.
The original District 13 became a launching pad for Pierre Morel, who later directed the very successful Taken and the undervalued From Paris with Love. Besson’s Europa Corp will be producing and should be near finalizing a deal for American distribution.
As for Luc Besson, he returns to directing with this year’s Oscar prestige release The Lady starring Michelle Yeoh (view the trailer).
Tags: luc besson, Paul Walker, Taken