New Zealand actor Karl Urban is teaming up with one of Hollywood's greatest talents in a twisted new crime thriller inspired by the children's game of the same name: Hangman.

Urban, 44, will star alongside veteran Al Pacino as a criminal profiler in the upcoming film to be directed by Johnny Martin.

The movie will see Pacino - who plays a decorated homicide detective - working alongside Urban to catch a serial killer who has drawn inspiration for his deadly acts from the well-known letter guessing game Hangman.

According to US entertainment magazine Variety, American actress Brittany Snow - who appeared in Hairspray and television series American Dreams - will also star in the film as a crime journalist who follows Urban and Pacino on the case.


Patriot Pictures and Union Patriot Capital are producing the film. It is understood filming is set to begin late next week in Atlanta.

"I am very much looking forward to shooting Hangman and working together with Al," Urban told the Herald on Sunday.

"I have immense respect for his ability and craft. Pacino is one of the greats, he has phenomenal instincts and his contribution to stage and screen is truly inspirational."

Urban has come a long way from his early acting years; in which many will know him for his time as paramedic Jamie Forrest on local soap Shortland Street in the early 90s.

He later went on to appear in television series hits Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess before gaining bigger roles in The Chronicles of Riddick, Out of the Blue, Star Trek and upcoming superhero film Thor: Ragnarok, due out next year.

Martin has worked as a stunts co-ordinator in films including Gone In Sixty Seconds and Titanic.

He also directed horror film Delirium and Vengeance: A Love Story which will star the likes of Nicholas Cage and another Kiwi actress and former Shortland Street star, Anna Hutchison.

Martin told Variety: "It's every director's dream to work with Al Pacino [and] Brittany Snow brings a fresh, instinctual presence to the production.''

Speaking about Kiwi actor Urban's influence in the movie, Martin told the publication: "Karl Urban's strength, instinct and versatility heighten the action and this genre.

"This film is amazing and will appeal to a wide audience.''