Action icon Liam Neeson is taking his particular set of skills to the Rocky Mountains, signing on to star in a new action-thriller entitled Hard Powder. The project is currently being sold at the Berlin Film Festival market later this month, which is expected to be a "hot ticket" item, now that Liam Neeson has come aboard. Production is currently scheduled to start this coming March in Banff, Alberta and other locations throughout Canada.
Variety reports that Liam Neeson will play Nels, an "upright snowplow driver," who was recently awarded the Citizen of the Year award by the Colorado ski town he lives in. His world gets turned upside down when his young son is killed by a "powerful local drug kingpin." Here's the official synopsis for Hard Powder, which seems to indicate that Liam Neeson's Nels will be using his snowplow as one of of his primary weapons.
"Fueled by an unwavering drive for vengeance and armed with heavy machinery, this unlikely hero sets out to dismantle the cartel with extreme prejudice, and he's not stopping until he gets to the top of the food chain."
Variety adds that Nels' quest for vengeance sparks a "turf war" between a Native American mafia boss and another character known as the Viking, described as "a fastidious gangster who wears Tom Ford suits," who is also a vegan, drives a Tesla and murders people. The story is said to climax in a "final showdown that leaves almost no one unscathed." StudioCanal will fully finance Hard Powder and distribute it in its home territories of U.K., Germany, France and Australia/New Zealand, while selling rights other international territories, including the U.S., at the Berlin Film Festival. Here's what Ron Halpern, Studiocanal EVP international production and acquisitions, had to say in a statement.
"Liam Neeson plays an ordinary man driven to extraordinary lengths, a hero in the mold of [Clint Eastwood} in Unforgiven or Bruce Willis in Die Hard. (He will bring) a slightly more modern spin (with) a touch of wry humor. Bringing a new perspective to the lone underdog character was what attracted Liam Neeson from the very beginning."
Hans Petter Moland (A Somewhat Gentle Man) is set to direct Hard Powder, from a script by Frank Baldwin (The Warriors TV series). Ron Halpern added that director Hans Petter Moland is aiming for a, "cool tone and classic archetypes," which fall in line with films such as Get Shorty and Out of Sight, which were both based on Elmore Leonard novels. Liam Neeson most recently starred as the Monster in A Monster Calls and in Martin Scorsese's Silence. He will next be seen in The Commuter and Felt, a biopic of FBI agent W. Mark Felt, a.k.a. "Deep Throat."