Veteran actor Sam Elliott has signed on to the title role in TNT's movie "Avenger," based on Frederick Forsyth's novel about a lawyer who moonlights as an assassin for hire.
Shooting on the movie, which is being executive produced by Wolfgang Petersen ("Troy," "In the Line of Fire"), is scheduled to start in the fall, with a premiere set for sometime next year. Alan Sharp ("Rob Roy") is writing the script; a director has yet to be hired.
" 'Avenger' delivers drama with an intensity that viewers have come to expect from TNT, and we couldn't be more thrilled to have two talents like Wolfgang Petersen and Sam Elliott tackling this project," TNT original programming chief Michael Wright says. "This international thriller is the latest commitment in our long-standing original programming lineup."
Elliott ("Hulk," "The Big Lebowski") will play Cal Dexter, a former Special Forces soldier in Vietnam who now works as a lawyer in a small New Jersey town. He's also, however, working for a wealthy man to hunt down and kill the man responsible for the death of the tycoon's grandson, an aid worker in Bosnia. A dogged CIA agent is simultaneously trying to stop Dexter's mission and avert an international incident.
Elliott earned an Emmy nomination in 1995 for playing Wild Bill Hickok in the CBS movie "Buffalo Girls." His credits also include "Mask," "Gettysburg," "Tombstone" and "The Hi-Lo Country."