EXCLUSIVE: FilmNation Entertainment will provide financing for The Prototype, an action thriller written and directed by Andrew Will (Archangel) and produced by Bandito Brothers in much the same maverick fashion as they generated Act Of ValorFilmNation will handle international sales, and Bandito Brothers’ Max Leitman will produce with Shawn Wallace and Will of Variant Films, and Sean Cushing.

Deadline first caught wind of this project back in late June, when the short film by Will leaked when it was being shopped by WME Global. The Prototype is an experimental drone soldier that is being hunted by the FBI’s elite Critical Incident Response Group after it escapes from a top-secret military base and goes on the run. It’s based on a short film by the writer-director. It’s an under-$40 million film somewhat likened to District 9, with casting getting underway.

Sunrise Pictures’ Peter Schafer and Brillstein Entertainment Partners will serve as executive producers. The film will be produced and posted through Bandito’s studio, with its sister company and VFX partner Cantina Creative. WME Global’s Graham Taylor will sell U.S. rights.

Leitman said Prototype “combines immersive action and a high-concept story, to the big screen.” Said FilmNation’s Glen Basner: “I loved Andrew’s short and immediately saw the potential for a thrilling and cool film. After working with the Bandito Brothers on Act of Valor, I know this will be one of the most exciting action films to date.”

WME Global and Kevin Kelly brokered the deal with FilmNation’s Alison Cohen, and CAA and Brillstein rep Will.

Here’s another look at Will’s short film: