EXCLUSIVE: Emile Hirsch (Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood) has signed on to star alongside actor-director Danny A. Abeckaser in his latest feature, The Engineer. The project is the pair’s second together, on the heels of the crime drama The Gemini Lounge—also starring Lucy Hale, Ashley Greene, Robert Davi and Vincent Laresca—which is set for release this fall.
Based on true events, The Engineer will tell the story of Yahya Ayyash—the mastermind bombmaker who led an army of suicidal soldiers in Israel during the mid ’90s. The story follows the biggest manhunt in the history of Israel to find him. Hirsch will play Etan, the head agent looking for ‘The Engineer,’ with Abeckaser as his superior agent, Yakov. Angel Bonanni and Omer Hazan will also star.
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Kosta Kondilopoulos wrote the script. Danny A. Abeckaser will produce via his company 2B Films, along with Yoav Gross and his Yoav Gross Productions. Production kicks off in Tel Aviv at the end of July.
“Especially being Israeli, I am intrigued by the international manhunt and back story of ‘The Engineer’ and have been wanting to tell this story for years,” said Abeckaser. “I’m thrilled to shoot it with Emile again, he is an incredible leading actor, and set in Israel where it all happened. I’m also super excited to be working with our DP Barry Markowitz (Slingblade, Crazy Heart) as well. We are putting together an incredible team and cast.”
Hirsch is perhaps best known for his SAG Award-nominated turn as Chris McCandless in Sean Penn’s 2007 film Into the Wild. The actor has also appeared in features including The Immaculate Room, Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood, Midnight in the Switchgrass, The Comeback Trail, Savages, The Darkest Hour, Milk, Speed Racer, Alpha Dog, Lords of Dogtown and The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, among others. In addition to The Gemini Lounge, he will soon be seen in action-thriller The Price We Pay, thriller State of Consciousness, K. Asher Levin’s Helen’s Dead and Dig, Steven C. Miller’s Run and Michael A. MacRae’s My Time’s Up. He is slated to make his screenwriting debut with In Tandem, a rock-climbing thriller in which he will also star.
Abeckaser has also previously directed features including I Love Us, Blackjack: The Jackie Ryan Story, Mob Town and First We Take Brooklyn. His credits on the acting side, outside of his own projects, include Lansky, Experimenter, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Iceman and Holy Rollers.
Hirsch is represented by UTA; Abeckaser by APA and LBI Entertainment.
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