Wheelman, The: Singleton's Movie Starring Vin Diesel

May 8, 2009–Paramount has set John Singleton to direct and Lorenzo di Bonaventura to produce “The Wheelman,” a live-action adaptation of the Ubisoft vidgame “Wheelman,” starring Vin Diesel.   The videogame launched last month, with Diesel as its main character and the game's producer.  Diesel will play an expert driver who comes out of retirement to protect a woman from his past.

Rich Wilkes wrote the script; the writing team of Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell did a rewrite. Di Bonaventura will produce with Diesel and his One Race Films partner Samantha Vincent.

Paramount got involved in the project in 2006, and the partnership was hailed as one of the biggest between a vidgame publisher and a studio.  Sumner Redstone, who owned both Midway Games and Paramount,  planned was to launch the “Wheelman” game and movie together. Redstone unloaded his 87% stake in Midway late last year in a debt restructuring move, and the vidgame moved to Ubisoft.

Singleton directed “2 Fast 2 Furious,” the sequel that Diesel did not make.  Di Bonaventura produced Paramount's summer pics “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” set for June 24, and “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,” opening August 7.  Di Bonaventura is currently shooting “Salt,” starring Angelina Jolie for Columbia.