Luc Besson Eyes Sullivan Stapleton As New Action Star In The Lake


Somehow, despite toplining Cinemax’s Strike Back and starring in high-grossing follow-up 300: Rise of an Empire, Aussie actor Sullivan Stapleton has yet to break into the mainstream. That may be about to change, though, now that EuropaCorp hitmaker Luc Besson has set him to star in The Lake.

The thriller will focus on a group of Navy SEALs who get on the trail of a long-forgotten mystery after uncovering a treasure trobe in a lake in war-torn Serbia.

Besson, who previously launched Liam Neeson, Jason Statham and Scarlett Johansson to action super-stardom, penned the script for The Lake with The Equalizer scribe Richard Wenk. Steven Quale (Into the Storm) is set to direct.

EuropaCorp’s last box-office juggernauts, Taken 3 and Lucy, were both distributed by other studios, but The Lake joins a homegrown slate that also includes Kevin Spacey starrer Nine Lives, franchise reboot The Transporter Legacy (in which Game of Thrones actor Ed Skrein takes over from Statham) and thriller Shut In with Naomi Watts.

Stapleton seems to be on the verge of a massive breakthrough. In addition to landing this leading role, he’s just been tapped to star in NBC’s thriller Blindspot, opposite Jaime Alexander, about a woman who awakens in a duffel bag in the middle of Times Square, covered in tattoos, with no memory of who she is or how she got there. And judging from his previous parts in Strike Back and 300: Rise of an Empire, the guy has the chops and looks to be Hollywood’s next leading man.

No release date has been set for The Lake, but we’d expect to see it in the spring of next year.