By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist July 14, 2011 at 1:18AM
We definitely have a soft spot for Louis Leterrier, as far as action-led helmers go. Undeniably talented, he's more than proved his action chops on the first two "Transporter" films, and pulled off a solid superhero flick on "The Incredible Hulk." Unfortunately, his last film, "Clash of the Titans," while a big hit, suffered from shoddy 3D and was probably a script that shouldn't have gone before cameras in the first place.
While the currently-filming sequel was given to other hands, Leterrier hasn't been bowed, and his next film is shaping up to be his most promising to date by far. The French director is gearing up to direct "Now You See Me," a heist thriller about the face-off between an FBI team and a group of world-famous illusionists who pull heists during their act, and an impressive set of names were said to be circling the project, including Jesse Eisenberg, Jake Gyllenhaal, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Olivia Wilde. There's good news and bad news today, with some of the previous names being locked in, while at least one has moved on to new pastures.
Variety reports that "Inglourious Basterds" star Melanie Laurent, last seen being typically luminous in Mike Mills' wonderful "Beginners," is in firm negotations to play the female lead in the film, which, after her terrific turn in Tarantino's film, can only be a good thing. Laurent will join the increasingly, and deservingly, busy Eisenberg, who's now locked in to the project, but the trade reports that Gyllenhaal has passed. There's no word on whether Hoffman and Wilde are still involved -- neither have taken other projects recently, so it's possible they're still in talks.
Still, Eisenberg and Laurent alone would have our interest: both are relatively picky in their roles, which suggests that the script, by Boaz Yakin and Edward Ricourt, is strong. "Star Trek" writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are producing, and Summit will release the film. There's no exact word on when filming will start, but it'll presumably come some time after Eisenberg wraps Woody Allen's currently-filming "Bop Decameron," so perhaps we'll see it in theaters in late 2012 or early 2013.