Vin Diesel may be adding another franchise to his docket. Per The Wrap, the Fast & Furious and Guardians of the Galaxy actor is in talks to star in Sony Pictures’ Bloodshot movie, based on the Valiant comic. Sony announced in 2015 that it was striking a deal with Valiant to adapt a series of comics for the big screen, and Bloodshot and Harbinger emerged as top priorities in what is planned as a five-film shared universe.
The story of Bloodshot centers on a mob killer named Angelo Mortalli who enters a witness protection program. When he is betrayed by a handler, he becomes part of a secret experiment to create the ultimate killing machine. His memories are erased and he is injected with microscopic computers called nanites, which turn him into an unstoppable force. With new strength to spare, he tries to rediscover who he was while battling both the mob and the police.
Last summer, Jared Leto was circling the lead role in this film, but it appears he ultimately parted ways with the project. Dave Wilson, a partner at Deadpool director Tim Miller’s Blur Studios, is set to direct the film from a screenplay by Arrival writer Eric Heisserer.
The plan here is to create an R-rated comic adaptation “that will be tonally and aesthetically influenced by high-concept sci-fi blockbusters of the late 80s,” with Robocop, Terminator, and Total Recall name dropped. That’s certainly an interesting angle, but I’m not exactly sure Diesel has the kind of charisma or self-awareness to carry that kind of film.
If Diesel does sign on he’ll be reuniting with his Fast and Furious producer Neal Moritz. Universal is still figuring out Fast & Furious 9, which is planned as the penultimate installment of the franchise and has an April 2020 release date. No director is yet attached but it’s been rumored that Justin Lin may return and finish out the franchise. Of course, the series went through some drama last year when it was announced that Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham’s spinoff will come first, prompting some of the Fast actors to voice their displeasure.
In addition to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Diesel also has xXx 4 in development, having revived that action franchise with last year’s xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, which flopped domestically but scored over $300 million overseas. Indeed, Diesel is a massive draw for international audiences, which explains why Sony would be eager to secure him as the cornerstone of their new shared universe.