EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has set David Ayer to write and direct a contemporized remake of the action classic The Dirty Dozen. The film will be produced by Simon Kinberg’s Genre with Ayer’s Cedar Park Entertainment.
Ayer last directed for Warner Bros Suicide Squad for Warner Bros, another film about an unruly group that was based on the DC Comics saga. This becomes another big mission movie for the studio, which also has Mel Gibson developing to direct The Wild Bunch.
The original 1967 war film was directed by Robert Aldrich and featured a cast that included Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, John Cassavetes, Robert Ryan, Telly Savalas, Robert Webber and Donald Sutherland. Pic was based on the E.M. Nathanson novel that was inspired by a real group called the Filthy Thirteen. The film involved a top secret mission done before the Normandy Invasion, where a group of hardened Army prisoners were trained to conduct a suicide mission, to stage an assault on a chateau in Brittany where dozens of high ranking German officers are meeting. The hope is that eliminating the leaders will help with the pending D-Day invasion. Those who survive are offered pardons.
Ayer will take the men on a mission story and inject his own voice into the mix. It will be contemporary with a multi-cultural diverse cast. It is in Ayer’s wheelhouse in that it harkens back to the spirit of some of his earlier scripts, including the first The Fast and the Furious, and Training Day. That will be the tone here, I’ve heard. Ayer will be rewriting a script, one done by Marco Ramirez. This is a fast tracked movie that the studio wants to make sometime in 2020. The hope is that this will be Ayer’s next movie.
The original was said to be an inspiration for numerous action films, including the Quentin Tarantino-directed Inglourious Basterds.
Chris Long will be exec producer.
Ayer is repped by WME. Kinberg, who wrapped directing the female action ensemble 355, is repped by CAA.