Nicolas Cage faces beast in 'Primal'

Nicolas Cage at an event for his "Dog Eat Dog" director, Paul Schrader, in September 2016

The star of "Face/Off" and "National Treasure" is to headline a story about a big game hunter who is trapped on a cargo ship with a deadly assassin.

Frank Walsh is an animal trapper in the business of supplying zoos with the wild and dangerous animals they require.

Returning from one of these missions, and with a rare white jaguar as his prize catch, Walsh is on board a freighter when all hell breaks loose.

One of the ship's other dangerous beasts, an assassin named Richard Loffler, was under the supervision of a team of U.S. Marshals and, to make good on his escape, unleashes the freighter's carnivorous contingent.

"Primal" is set to start filming in October, according to The Hollywood Reporter, with Puerto Rico as its first announced location, and the project is being introduced to potential distributors at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Cage is in Toronto to promote family horror "Mom and Dad" which premiered on September 9 to a favorable reception.

Cage would play Walsh, and previously worked with director Nick Powell on 2014's Chinese action movie "Outcast" which had Hayden Christensen as its lead.

For Powell, "Primal" is his third directed feature. He has a lengthy resumé as a stunt coordinator, with credits including "Cinderella Man," "X-Men: The Last Stand," "The Last Samurai," and "Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever."