Last spring, there was word from Cannes that Paul Walker was going to star in a new action thriller written by Brandon Noonan called Protection. Simon West was slated to direct, and the film was scheduled to begin production last August. Obviously, that never happened, and both men are no longer with the project. Who could replace the man who directed Con Air and the star of The Fast in the Furious? The answer might surprise you.

According to Production Weekly's Twitter feed, Clive Owen will replace Walker in the feature, and Patrick Alessandrin will direct. That certainly makes for a different movie. You all know Owen, of course, and Alessandrin is the man who just helmed the parkour follow-up Banlieue 13: Ultimatum. Unless things have changed over the last year of development, the film follows a former Special Forces soldier who faces off against Mexican gangs in order to rescue a judge's daughter -- your usual good guy v. a horde of baddies scenario.

What's much more interesting than the plot is the switch of leads. Owen's International and Duplicity might not have done so well at the box office, but he's an entirely different sort of action star than Walker. I wonder if he was cast in an attempt to bring more cred to the project, or if this is his next Shoot 'Em Up pulp movie for fun. Either way, those gangs don't stand a chance!