Gold Circle Films is infinal negotiations to hire Spanish first-time director Victor Garcia to directthe horror suspense feature Smoke.

The film is based on a specscript by Ronnie Christensen and is being produced by The Grudgeproducers Roy Lee & Doug Davidson of Vertigo Entertainment and Lauren Lloydat Bedlam Media.

The SleepingWith The Enemy-style plot revolves around a young woman on the run from anabusive husband who is haunted by visions as she starts a new life. The pictureis set for a US shoot in June, and an offer to star has been made to SalmaHayek.

Although the English-language Smoke will beBarcelona native Garcia's first feature, he is gathering heat in Hollywoodsince his short film El Ciclo won the Screamfest last October.

He is expected to sign a second feature shortly.Garcia's background is in the visual effects world for Spanish commercials,music videos and features. He was discovered by Rachel Belofsky at Screamfestwho brought him to Underground Management's William Lowery.

Gold Circle recently produced The Wedding Dateand White Noise which were released domestically by Universal Picturesas part of its first-look deal with the studio. Smoke is being overseenby exec Zak Kadison. Vertigo is also readying the release of remakes of TheRing 2 and Dark Water.

Underground recently set up License To Wed by debut writer Kim Barker at WarnerBrothers with Underground and Phoenix Pictures producing.