Pierre Morel is doing everything he can to make himself the top, go-to name in action directing. After turning heads with District B13, Morel practically blew up (and helped redefine Liam Neeson) with the global smash Taken. He transitioned to the decent but lukewarmly-received From Paris With Love, but Morel was still figuring out his signature. Expect him to continue exploring the action mode with is next announced picture, The Hitman’s Bodyguard.

THR says the film, penned by Tom O’Connor (Fire With Fire), follows a guardian assigned to protect a hitman who is trying to reach a courthouse so that he can testify against a vicious European war criminal. As you can probably guess, the guardian and the hitman will encounter all sorts of troubles on their way to the judge. The trade says that the action takes place in the Netherlands, as the hitman and his protector have to appear before the Hague.

The premise appears to set up two key action roles. Do thay have to be male? Not necessarily, though I do think that Liam Neeson has earned right of first refusal on either the hitman or the bodyguard part. Maybe Morel can do his own mini-Expendables by pairing Neeson with another action legend, elevating Hitman’s Bodyguard above the standard (read: lazy) buddy-comedy fare?

As THR notes, this means Morel has moved off of the action-thriller Bastille Day, which he planned to make for Vendome Pictures. And while he isn’t directing Taken 2, you know Morel fans (and Neeson enthusiasts) will be front and center when the sequel reaches theaters on Oct. 5.

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