For years, much admired video director Michael Kahn has been set to make his directorial debut on the stalled fourth installment of The Crow series. Tired of waiting for that film to happen, Kahn is kicking his career into high gear by revving up for Warner Brothers new actioner Torque, written by Kevin Polay, JP Donahue and Matt Johnson.

The storyline: When outlaw biker Cary Ford is framed for murder by his arch-nemesis Henry, he flees across country. Accompanying him on his perilous adventure are his pals Val and Dalton and his lady friend Shane. In hot pursuit are the Feds, headed by Agent McPherson, and Trey, a biker leader who holds Ford responsible for killing his brother and who now wants Ford’s head.

Cary Ford will be a Caucasian in his 20s. He has laid-back good looks, a winning smile, and the kind of bad boy charisma that reduces women to jelly. A lifelong biker, Ford isn’t happy unless he’s bombing around the country on his “crotch rocket.” A couple of years back, he fell afoul of Henry, a brutal biker leader who convinced Ford to work in a motorcycle chop shop. When Henry suspected Ford of ratting him out to the Feds, he went ballistic and burned down Ford’s shop. With both Henry and the Feds pressuring him, Ford fled, and has spent the last couple of years in Thailand laying low. Back in the states for a big rally, Ford hooks back up with his old pals Dalton and Val, and he also runs into Shane, the beautiful woman he left behind. Ford just wants to forget the past and get on with his life, resuming his rudely interrupted relationship with Shane and opening up a new biker shop in San Francisco. But when Henry frames Ford for a murder he didn’t commit, Ford is forced to flee yet again, this time with Dalton, Val and Shane at his side. During the course of their thrilling but deadly cross-country adventure, Ford must confront his past and face his old nemesis before he can move into the future. Addendum – July 16: This role went to Martin Henderson.

Shane, who could be Caucasian, Hispanic or African American, is a long-legged, naturally beautiful woman biker in her 20s, with “curves tighter than Mulholland Drive” and a mind to match her impressive exterior. Shane, who is also passionate about motorcycles, makes a living as a custom bike seat vendor – a convenient excuse for her to hit all the big motorcycle rallies in the country. A couple of years back, she and Ford dated for seven months, but when he left the country suddenly, Shane wrote him off. Now, Ford’s back, and despite Shane’s initial skepticism, the two feel the same old chemistry. However, when Shane realizes that Ford is wanted for murder, all her old doubts resurface. Realizing that the vengeful Trey could use her to get to Ford, Shane is forced to go on the lam with Ford on a deadly cross-country flight, just ahead of the cops and a passel of murderous bikers. But a funny thing happens on the way to San Francisco. Shane not only realizes that Ford is innocent, but that she has fallen in love with him.

Trey Wallace will be a handsome, composed and powerful African American or Hispanic man, the leader of the Machine, one of the most powerful and feared biker gangs in the country. No stranger to violence or criminal behavior, Trey nonetheless operates according to the biker code. In other words, he is as good as his word, but donrt cross him. When Trey’s hot-headed younger brother Junior is killed at the motorcycle rally, Trey vows vengeance on Ford, the man he holds responsible. Later, however, when he realizes that both he and Ford are being played by rival gang leader Henry, who killed Junior and framed Ford, Trey teams up with Ford to teach Henry the error of his ways – and then some. (Look for a known musician or model to be cast in this role). Addendum – July 16: This role went to Ice Cube.

Henry will be a Caucasian, possibly European. Ford’s old nemesis, Henry is a hard, vicious biker in his 20s who heads the old school biker gang, the Hellions. Henry has an old grudge against Ford, so he decides to eliminate two enemies at once. Henry and his underling Big Dog murder Junior, a rival gang member who reneged on a business deal with the Hellions, and then frame Ford for the crime. Cold, sadistic and completely untrustworthy, Henry later finds himself fatally trapped in the mechanism of his own scheme. Addendum – July 16: This role went to Matt Schulze.

Dalton, one of Ford’s best pals, will be a funny, edgy and aggressive Caucasian or African American in his 20s, a devoted biker who trolls the various rallies across the country in search of pretty women and a good time. A loyal friend, the kind who will get your back when the chips are down, Dalton welcomes Ford back from overseas, where he has been laying low for a couple of years. But when Ford’s old nemesis, Henry, frames Ford for a murder he didn’t commit, Dalton goes on the lam with Ford for a careening cross-country adventure, staying just one step ahead of the cops, not to mention a vengeful gang out for Ford’s head.

Val, another of Ford’s best buddies, will be in his 20s, a hip, tough slacker guy. Asian or Caucasian, a “biker-with-a-heart-of-gold” who lives with Dalton in a San Francisco bachelor pad and is up for any adventure. Val has a keen eye for the ladies and a wicked sense of humor. When Ford goes on the run from Trey, who blames him for killing his brother, Val goes along for the ride, regardless of the danger. Later, he is taken hostage by Trey, who keeps him as “security” until Ford produces proof that he is not his brother’s killer.

China is Henry’s girlfriend, a Caucasian biker chick who is a tough, stunningly beautiful girl in her 20s who rivals Henry in treachery and viciousness. China gladly plays a role in framing Ford, swearing to the cops that she personally witnessed him murdering Junior. Later, during Henry’s final showdown with Ford, China takes on Shane – not an easy mark, as she soon learns. (This smaller supporting role will also be filled by a name musician or model.) Addendum – July 16: This role went to actress and former Playboy model Jaime Pressly.

Shooting is scheduled to begin July 8 in Los Angeles.