Shawn Levy to Direct Westernized 'Forty Thieves'

Shawn Levy has signed on to direct a reimagining of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves in development at Fox, TheWrap reports.

Simply titled Forty Thieves, the update will westernize the classic Arabic folktale by changing the ethnicity and race of the lead character to someone who probably looks a lot more like Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games), Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) or Evan Peters (X-Men: Days of Future Past). Those three actors are reportedly testing for the lead role of Allen, a character that is believed to be an analogue of Ali Baba.

The retelling of the Arabian Nights tale is described as an adventure comedy akin to hits like Guardians of the Galaxy and Pirates of the Caribbean. This tone seems in line with Levy's previous directing work, which includes the Night at the Museum trilogy and comedies like This Is Where I Leave You and The Internship.

No details have been released about the screenwriter or production schedule.

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