Wasn't he going to stay away from action?

Funny thing happened a week or two ago down under. A Bunch of pics were released – a couple highly anticipated leaders, and the other couple a seemingly lacklustre couple of efforts that’d probably last a week. In a weird turn of events, one of those lacklustre efforts, “Tears of the Sun”, pulled in the crowds, making even more bank than the bigger projects. Seems people still get a kick of Bruce Willis, a tank top and an Mack machine gun. This is just as good, because according to Variety, there’s more to come. Arnold Rifkin’s and Willis’ Cheyenne Enterprises is fast-tracking a pair of pics, one in which Willis will produce and topline, and another that Cheyenne will only produce.

First up is a deal with Bob Yari and Mark Gordon’s Stratus Film Co. to adapt the Robert Crais novel “Hostage” as a starring project for Willis. Notably, Stratus is guaranteeing the movie’s budget despite it lacking domestic distribution. The film, which was first at MGM and then at Revolution Studios, will be directed by Florent Siri (The Nest). Hostage tells the story of a LAPD hostage negotiator (Willis) who withdraws to the countryside to become chief of a two-man police department after a standoff ends bloodily. But instead of finding peace in the small town he finds himself embroiled negotiations to save his kidnapped wife and daughter. The film will begin pre-production immediately and is set to go before cameras in January.

The other Cheyenne production, “True Believers”, is moving forward quickly at MGM, with the studio making a pay-or-play offer to Japanese horror helmer Hideo Nakata (Ringu), and readying an offer for Mark Wahlberg to star.

Sometime between “Hostage” and beating Ashton Kutcher to a pulp, Brucie Boy’s doing another “Die Hard” movie too.