With the American Film Market kicking off next week in Santa Monica, sellers already are positioning the projects they will put in front of the more than 8,000 attendees from more than 70 countries. Here are a few projects already ramping up:

Stockwell To Direct Code Name Geronimo
John Stockwell (Dark Tide, Turistas, Into The Blue) has come aboard to direct the upcoming Code Name Geronimo, the latest among a slew of films centered on the Navy SEALs’ mission to find and kill Osama bin Laden. Voltage Pictures is selling rights at AFM on this film, which was written by Kendall Lampkin and is set to begin principle photography in January. ICM negotiated the deal and represents Stockwell. Geronimo is based on the actual incursion into bin Laden’s compound from the perspective of a small unit of SEALs. Of course, the most high-profile of the bin Laden film bunch is the Sony Pictures one from The Hurt Locker team of director Kathryn Bigelow and scribe Mark Boal, which focuses on the SEAL unit’s hunt for the al-Qaeda leader and is looking like it might not be released until after the 2012 presidential election. There’s also Relativity’s Act Of Valor, which features a half-dozen leads played by actual SEALs and was backed by the military. It is due out Presidents Day weekend 2012. That one was scripted by Kurt Johnstad (300) and directed by the ICM-repped Bandito Brothers’ Mike “Mouse” McCoy and Scott Waugh.

Exclusive Takes On Disconnect
Exclusive Media Group announced today it is repping worldwide rights at AFM excluding the U.S. and Canada to Disconnect, the ensemble drama directed by Murderball‘s Henry-Alex Rubin and written by Andrew Stern, Jason Bateman, Hope Davis, Frank Grillo, Michael Nyqvist, Paula Patton, Andrea Riseborough, Alexander Skarsgard, Max Thieriot star. The film, which is shooting in New York and is scheduled to wrap next month, interweaves three storylines about people searching for human connection in today’s wired world of the Internet. CAA is handling North American rights.

Stealth To Rep Leashed
Stealth Media Group is repping writer-director Marco Weber’s young-adult thriller Leashed, which will screen at AFM after its premiere at Spain’s Stiges Fantasy Film Festival. It’s the first film from Weber, the onetime indie producer behind such pics as Igby Goes Down and The Informers. It centers on a teen seductress (Gia Mantegna) who pulls three other privileged Malibu kids into her devious scheme, and unforeseen consequences force the group to face their own fears and mortality. Chad Lowe and Claudia Christian co-star. UPDATE: Here’s a teaser trailer for Leashed:

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