By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com October 25, 2011 at 1:20AM
Having delivered a solid international triple again with the Angelina Jolie spy actioner "Salt," and a hit TV series with ABC's "Revenge," Australian helmer Phillip Noyce is back on top, but the director of "Dead Calm" and "Clear and Present Danger" hasn't gone as far as to pick a follow-up yet. He was linked to submarine thriller "Hunter Killer" before Antoine Fuqua took over, flirted with the drama "Our Wild Life," is attached to a remake of "Bloodsport" for some reason, and also eyed up the thriller "Above Suspicion," as well as putting his name to romance "Timeless," which landed a lead a couple of weeks back in the shape of Liam "Brother of Thor" Hemsworth.
And now there's one more on the slate, with The Hollywood Reporter bringing news that Mandate Pictures have signed Noyce up to direct the thriller "The Arrangement," from a script by Brian Tucker. The premise seems to be to "Indecent Proposal" what "Obsessed" was to "Fatal Attraction," involving a married couple made up of a white man and a mixed-race woman, who receive an offer from a wealthy black man, who agrees to give a loan to the financially-troubled pair in exchange for three days with the wife.
It sounds like a pretty dismal programmer on paper, but we've got a glimmer of hope: Tucker's breakthrough script "Broken City" was an excellent, very dark noir, which has attracted Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe and Catherine Zeta-Jones, and he could come up with an interesting spin on the premise -- Mandate president Nathan Kahane agrees, saying that the writer pens "post-Obama stories that fores audiences to question themselves." But then, you could have said the same about "Lakeview Terrace."
It's unclear where this lands on Noyce's dance card. We assume with "Timeless" having a cast member, that may be up next. But this seems like it could be a good fit for him, returning to the danger-edged love triangle of "Dead Calm," even if we wish he'd go back to passion projects like "Rabbit-Proof Fence" and "The Quiet American" again.