Because of movies like Battleship, John Carter and The Savages, I will shudder at the sight of Taylor Kitsch’s name for at least the next five years. Granted, I didn’t watch Friday Night Lights, so I’ve never experienced the power of the Kitsch bandwagon. All I’ve seen are his feature-length films, and they’ve been abysmal, so I’m cautious about Exit 147 right off the bat.

The horror site Bloody Disgusting reports that Kitsch has signed on as the lead for Exit 147, which Julian Jarrold will direct. Kitsch will play a small-town sheriff who arrests a stranger who is speeding through the desert. But getting detained is all part of the man’s sadistic game, and now Kitsch’s lawman has to play along if he wants to prevent more tragedy.

Jarrold previously helmed Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1974, so very few know about his style and what he might bring to Exit Despite his box-office failures, Kitsch still has leading-man potential, and could bring heat to this project. Or, the movie could be relegated to direct-to-DVD status as it develops, and end up on a shelf next to other forgettable horror efforts from start who tried to reinvent themselves after a string of commercial failures. We shall see how Exit 147<./i> plays out.

In the meantime, Kitsch has two other movies that are expected to drop before Exit reaches theaters. He’ll reunite with Battleship director Peter Berg for Love Survivor, then collaborate with director Don McKellar for The Grand Seduction, both tagged for 2013 releases.

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