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Sean Penn in Talks to Star in 'Prone Gunman'

A recent post from The Hollywood Reporter has claimed Sean Penn may be the new actor-turned-action-star in Taken director Pierre Morel’s upcoming film, Prone Gunman.

Pierre Morel‘s Taken has become a household name for movie fans, the same way Liam Neeson’s name has become synonymous with taking names and kicking ass. This wasn’t always the case, however, and it’s because of Morel’s superb casting choice that teenage girls know to call Neeson should they ever need help and protection from international gangsters.

Sean Penn may be the next actor to undergo such a transformation. The famed actor is currently in talks to star in Prone Gunman, an action thriller based on a novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette. We reported on this speculatively, earlier in November, but it looks like the deal is actually going to happen The story will have Sean Penn playing an international assassin betrayed by the organization he works for and forced to go on the run. The official synopsis for the book reads as follows (while also adding a love interest?):

“French hit man Martin Terrier wants to quit the killing-for-francs business and go home to marry his childhood sweetheart. Those in charge want him to assassinate one more person–the Arab sheik Hakim–and, confiscating Terrier’s savings, coerce him to do so. Learning that his assignment is actually a setup that will truly be his final mission, Terrier foils the plot just in time, gets his revenge, gets the girl, and starts a new life in the Ardennes. Fin? Non. Terrier’s blissful retirement and our happy ending are spoiled by the leftover bullet lodged in his brain and his unsavory new tendency to blabber. His lack of savings forces him to work as a waiter, and his wife, tired of poverty and three-minute coitus, eventually leaves him.”

Sean Penn has a knack for playing slightly eccentric characters and there’s no reason to believe this cannot be applied to more action oriented films. Sean Penn has been keeping steadily busy, starring in this year’s Gangster Squad, last year’s rock drama This Must Be the Place, The Tree of Life after taking home the Oscar for Best Actor ┬áin 2008’s Milk.

It’ll be interesting to see what Pierre Morel can do with an actor of Sean Penn’s caliber should the deal go through. It will also be interesting to see what director-turned-screenwriter Pete Travis can do with such material. As always, we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop.

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