EXCLUSIVE: John Moore has been signed to direct the suspense thriller Plane at Mandalay Pictures. Scripted by David M. Crabtree, the story follows a traveling salesman, who finds himself airborne in a small plane when the pilot dies and must come to terms with his life while trying not to crash.

Producing the project for Mandalay is Jason Michael Berman (The Birth of a Nation, The Last Days of American Crime). “This will be a real survival movie, a roller coaster,” said Berman, whose other credits include Otherhood, Little Evil, and Burning Sands. “David Crabtree comes from a family of pilots, and John is a massive aviation enthusiast, so they know this space intimately.”

Moore has previously directed such films as A Good Day to Die Hard, Behind Enemy Lines, and Flight of the Phoenix. Berman and Crabtree met at the UCS’s School of Cinematic Arts in 2002, and have been working with each other since that time.

This is not the first time Berman has reached back to the creatives he met while at USC. Earlier this year, Mandalay optioned Scott Speer’s screenplay Charlie 3D about the first fully, 3D-printed man and his search for identity and love. Speer and producer Berman initially worked on a short together while both students at USC. Berman and Crabtree also worked on shorts together at USC.

Crabtree is now an award-winning music video/commercial director who recently sold his original screenplay Omega to Sony/Columbia (which Mandalay is also producing), and also penned the most recent draft of Inherit the Earth for Sony/Columbia with Platinum Dunes and Circle of Confusion producing.

Moore is repped by Paradigm and attorney Cheryl Snow at Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown; Crabtree is repped by CAA, Grandview, and attorney Gregory Slewett at Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal Laviolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman.