EXCLUSIVE: Liam Neeson has been set to star in The Ice Road, an action adventure film written and to be directed by Jonathan Hensleigh. CODE Entertainment and Envision Media Arts are backing the production.Production is set to start mid-January.
Neeson will play a ‘big-rig’ ice road driver who, after a remote diamond mine collapses in the far northern regions of Canada, must lead an impossible rescue mission over a frozen ocean to save the trapped miners. Contending with thawing waters and a massive storm, they discover the real threat is one they never saw coming.
Hensleigh’s work as a screenwriter includes Die Hard with a Vengeance, Armageddon, and Jumanji, and he previously directed The Punisher and Kill the Irishman.
CODE Entertainment will fully finance the movie. CODE’s Al Corley, Bart Rosenblatt, and Eugene Musso will produce, along with Lee Nelson and David Tish of Envision Media Arts. Jonathan Dana will executive produce, along with Lisa Wilson and Myles Nestel of The Solution. David Buelow of EMA will also be executive producer.
“We are thrilled and fortunate to be working with the extraordinary talents of Liam Neeson and Jonathan Hensleigh and the outstanding creative team they have assembled on this breathtaking adventure story,” says CODE’s Corley and Rosenblatt.
Said Hensleigh: “I’ve never been able to shake Clouzot’s Wages of Fear since I saw it as a kid because of the character emphasis during the action, and The Ice Road is in that tradition. And when it comes to bringing intelligence and soul to an action adventure film, Liam Neeson is incomparable.”
EMA’s Nelson and Tish said the film “embodies everything we’re looking to do at EMA, building concept-driven fare with attention-grabbing hooks and compelling characters.”
Lisa Wilson will handle international sales through her Solution Entertainment Group. She said the company was sparked to work again with Code Entertainment and Neeson.
CAA Media Finance will broker the film’s U.S. distribution rights.
Neeson and Hensleigh are repped by CAA; Neeson is lawyered by Mark Stankevich and Hensleigh is managed by Oasis Media Group’s David Lonner.