Hip-hop star Common has signed to join James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman and Angelina Jolie in Wanted for Universal Pictures and is also in talks to join the cast of the Keanu Reeves-Forest Whitaker drama The Night Watchman for Fox Searchlight.
Wanted, based on Mark Millar’s graphic novel, centers on a white-collar worker (McAvoy) who discovers he is the son of the most evil supervillain on Earth. When his father is assassinated, he inherits the dead man’s powers and begins life among the other supervillains (Freeman, Jolie and Common) who secretly control the planet.
Common will play the Gunsmith, an assassin with an unparalleled knowledge of firearms who is enlisted to help train and transform McAvoy’s character into the world’s most feared and powerful hit man.
Timur Bekmambetov is directing from a script by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas. Marc Platt, Jim Lemley and Jason Netter are producing.
In “Night Watchman,” Common will play Coates, a heroin dealer from Belize posing as an undercover police officer. The film is based on an original idea by James Ellroy and centers on a disgraced cop who discovers corruption inside the police department and sets out on a mission to redeem himself. David Ayer (Harsh Times) will helm the project from a Jamie Moss-penned rewrite.
The film is being co-financed and co-produced by New Regency. Alexandra Milchan, Lucas Foster and Erwin Stoff are producing.
Common made his big-screen debut in the ensemble actioner Smokin’ Aces. He next appears in the Denzel Washington-Russell Crowe starrer American Gangster.