FilmNation Entertainment is building the action-thriller The Amateur American around British actor Luke Evans. The pic, written and to be directed by Ross Katz, is scheduled to shoot in September.  It’s another case of a financier speculating on an actor it thinks will turn into one of the next young stars, and also another in a growing trend of offshore thesps tapped to play Americans. That has become a regular occurrence in superhero movies from Batman to Superman and Spider-Man, among others. What has happened to the American action hero gene pool?

FilmNation was sold on Evans after watching his work in its just-wrapped The Raven, in which he starred alongside John Cusack. Evans also played Apollo in Clash of the Titans, plays Zeus in the upcoming Immortals, and Aramis in The Three Musketeers.Writer-director Katz produced such indie films as In The Bedroom and Lost In Translation, and made his directorial debut on the Kevin Bacon-starrer Taking Chance for HBO.

The action-thriller is about a young American living in Paris who accepts a job working for a shadowy employer and soon finds himself framed for murder and caught up in a web of deceit. The pic will be produced by FilmNation Entertainment’s Aaron Ryder and Likely Story’s Anthony Bregman. FilmNation will begin selling  foreign territories. No domestic deal has yet been set.

FilmNation just wrapped House at the End of the Street with Winter’s Bone star Jennifer Lawrence and Likely Story is getting underway on the Stephen Frears-directed Lay the Favorite with Bruce Willis, Rebecca Hall and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

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