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Bana and Howard for “Factor X”

Two men from the world of Marvel movies, “Hulk” star Eric Bana and “Iron Man” star Terrence Howard are combining their motion picture muscle for “Factor X”, a new thriller that’s perched at New Line.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film tells the true story of how the BTK killer was captured. The serial killer murdered people in and around Wichita, Kan., from 1974-91 and was finally caught in 2005, turning out to be a mild-mannered leader at a local church. The acronym described his modus operandi, which was to bind, torture and kill.

Ridley Scott, who is producing, may helm the pic. He of course previously worked with Bana on “Black Hawk Down”.

“Factor X,” which takes its name from what the killer described in taunting letters to the police as his motive for murder, tells how a young, black counterterrorism expert from Washington teamed up with a Wichita police detective, who spent his career trying to chase down the killer.

Bana will play the detective and Terrence Howard would be the counterterrorism expert.

East Coast-based scribe Howard, who made a name for himself writing real-life inspirational sports dramas such as “Remember the Titans” and “Ali,” came across counterterrorism expert Stanley Campbell at a dinner party thrown by his cousin, a federal judge. After Howard learned of Campbell’s story, and how he invented a data reduction process to mathematically rule out suspects, he doggedly pursued the man for a year trying to get his life rights. Campbell eventually caved, partly because of Howard’s promise to not make an exploitative movie.

Howard then got Bana on board, followed by actor Terrence Howard and his manager Victoria Fredrick. Costigan and Scott soon followed.

“Factor X” went out last week, but New Line, excited about the pairing of Bana and Howard, quickly took it off the table. The studio’s Cale Boyter and Sam Brown brought the project in and will be oversee for the studio.