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Tim Allen dons Mamet's Redbelt

Take a moment to think of the people you traditionally associate with Dave Mamet’s stylised, rapid-fire, swear-laden dialogue. William H Macy? Alec Baldwin? Tim Allen?

Yeah, we were surprised too, but apparently Allen is looking to break out of his Santa costume and Wild Hogs leathers to tackle an altogether different type of film. Smashing the shackles of Disney movie stardom, he’s snagged a role alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alice Braga, Emily Mortimer, Ricky Jay and constant Mamet muse/wife Rebecca Pidgeon in Redbelt, the writer/director’s new drama

It tells the tale of a Jiu-Jitsu master (Ejiofor) who is morally bankrupted when he gets involved in the film business and ends up blackmailed into entering ultimate fighting matches. Allen will play a troubled film star who meets the master as he’s on the wrong end of a bloody street fight.

Ejiofor has been attached to the film for a while, and has apparently been honing his martial arts skills with legendary Brazilian fighting clan the Gracie family in London, ready for Mamet to start shooting next month in LA. Chiwetel beating seven bells out of the man who brought us The Shaggy Dog? Consider us sold!