EXCLUSIVE: Three-time Best Picture nominated producer Robert Lorenz (American Sniper) is set to direct airplane thriller Papa Alpha 333 for Meridian’s Eric Paquette, producer Aaron Barnett and Brian O’Shea’s The Exchange.

The movie will follow the story of a female airline pilot who wrests control of a 747 from a male captain caught in a severe thunderstorm, leaving the plane incommunicado. Her efforts to save 300 passengers are further complicated by suspicions of terrorism and a potential collision course with Chicago’s tallest skyscraper.

Currently casting, the partners are targeting a Q3, 2024, start date. The original screenplay is by Michael Walker, whose books include Laurel Canyon: The Inside Story Of Rock And Roll’s Legendary Neighborhood.

Lorenz most recently directed Venice Film Festival title In The Land Of Saints And Sinners and The Marksman, both of which starred Liam Neeson. He has previously been a producer on movies including Mystic River, Letters From Iwo Jima and American Sniper.

Meridian Pictures recently produced Joel Kinnaman and Mark Strong film The Silent Hour.

Lorenz is represented by UTA and Keith G. Fleer and Walker by attorney Nelson Davis LLP.