‘The Dark Knight’s Aaron Eckhart to Star in ‘The Expatriate’

Philipp Stolzl will direct the action thriller from an original screenplay by A.E. Amel

"The Dark Knight" star Aaron Eckhart is in final negotiations to star in the action thriller 'The Expatriate," it was announced by Informant Media, Smash Media and Essential Entertainment at AFM on Thursday.

Philipp Stolzl ("North Face") will direct from an original screenplay by A.E. Amel.

Eckhart stars as Ben Logan, a former CIA agent searching for a fresh start with his estranged 15-year-old daughter, Amy. After taking a job in Belgium as a security expert for a large multinational corporation, he arrives at the office one morning to find that all of his colleagues have vanished and his division no longer exists. After learning that his assistant is actually a trained operative intent on killing both him and his daughter, Ben and Amy flee, with a highly-trained kill squad in hot pursuit.

Though Ben and his daughter are little more than strangers, they're forced to trust each other in order to survive long enough to figure out why someone wants them killed, which probably has to do with Ben's shadowy past.

Informant's Judy Cairo, Michael A. Simpson and Howard Meltzer will produce with Smash's Harry Winer. Essential will exec produce and handle international sales for the movie, which is targeting a start date in the first quarter of 2011 in Belgium and Montreal.

Essential's Bree Herzog brought the project to the company, which continues to handle international distribution rights to the well-received Paul Giamatti indie "Barney's Version."

Eckhart has been earning some of the best reviews of his illustrious career for his performance opposite Nicole Kidman in John Cameron Mitchell's upcoming Lionsgate drama "Rabbit Hole." The actor has a busy year ahead of him, with starring roles in Jonathan Liebesman's highly-anticipated alien invasion film "Battle: Los Angeles," as well as the indie "The Rum Diary," which also stars Johnny Depp.

Eckhart is represented by CAA.