By Drew Taylor | The Playlist June 6, 2013 at 4:30PM
If you like Denzel Washington playing a stone cold killer whose heart is gradually melted by prolonged interactions with an adorable moppet, well, today might as well be Christmas. Deadline is reporting that the megawatt star has signed on to star in Warner Bros.' new sci-fi project "Shovel Ready," an adaptation of an unreleased novel by New York Times Magazine culture editor Adam Sternbergh. Just like in "Man on Fire," he'll play a murderous badass who falls under the spell of a young girl. Aww.
The report describes the plot as being about a post-apocalyptic New York City, where the citizens escape from the cruelty of everyday life by slipping into a complex virtual reality world not unlike, say, "The Matrix," or Las Vegas, Nevada. Washington would play an assassin who is hired to take out the daughter of a powerful evangelist. Of course, Washington grows to become the girl's protector. Sounds like a nifty mixture of the aforementioned "Man on Fire," along with Washington's post-apocalyptic "Book of Eli" and a dash of Ernest Cline's deeply brilliant novel "Ready Player One" (which still hasn't been adapted – what's up with that?).
No other details have been released at this time (the book doesn't even hit until January of next year), but Erwin Stoff will serve as the producer. Also: "Shovel Ready" is a really cool, tough name for a movie. Here's hoping the story is as cool as it sounds and that Warner Bros. puts some top tier talent behind it.