Twentieth Century Fox has hired Joe Carnahan to direct THE A-TEAM, based on the 1980s TV series, with Ridley Scott to produce and Tony Scott to exec produce via their Scott Free banner, per VARIETY.
Set for release next summer, producers also include Jules Daly and Stephen J. Cannell, the latter of whom created the original series that debuted in 1983 and ran for five seasons.
Skip Woods' script will get a polish from Carnahan and Brian Bloom. Production is scheduled to start by June in order to make the June 11, 2010 release date.
Fox has had trouble turning the iconic, campy series into a feature. Director John Singleton was the most recent helmer attached, but he dropped out, and Woods started over.
Carnahan and the Scott brothers will use the original premise of the series as the template for an action film. "Tony and I feel that marrying this Scott Free project with Joe's sensibility will result in a fast-paced, exciting franchise, one we hope will be around for years to come," Scott said.
The story follows four Vietnam veterans convicted of armed robbery who escape from military prison and become good-guy mercenaries. Updated for modern times, the Middle East will take Vietnam's place, but the origin story will be the starting point for the film, Carnahan said. "You can... make a film that reflects on the real world without losing the great sense of fun and the velocity of action in a classic summer popcorn film," he added.
Carnahan will have to put his Pablo Escobar biopic KILLING PABLO aside for the moment, a project that was on skids when the Yari Film Group filed for bankruptcy last year. As top films now are largely based on branded properties, "I am determined to make that movie there or elsewhere, but it's an interesting time in Hollywood, and you have to be aware when you get the opportunity to step into a business model that is working," Carnahan said." "This was a coveted property, and reimagining a show that I remembered as a kid was tough to turn down. Fox hired me to make it as emotional, real and accessible as possible without cheesing it up."