MiramaxFilms has acquired North American rights to Hostage, the Bruce Willis action thriller financed byStratus Film Company and scripted from his own novel by Robert Crais.

FlorentSiri (The Nest) is directing thefilm, which is currently shooting in Los Angeles, and Stratus, Equity Picturesand Cheyenne Enterprises are the production entities. The film's producers areCheyenne partners Arnold Rifkin and Willis and Stratus partners Bob Yari andMark Gordon. Howard Koch and David Wally are executive producers.

SyndicateFilms International has international sales rights to the film which tells thestory of an LAPD hostage negotiator (Willis) who moves to the countryside tobecome the chief of a small-town police department after a bloody standoff. Butin the small town, he immediately meets trouble after his wife and daughter arekidnapped.

KevinPollack, Ben Foster, Jonathan Tucker, Serena Scott Thomas, Marshall Allman,Michelle Horn and Jimmy Bennett also star.

Rifkinand Cheyenne first optioned the film rights to Hostage from Crais in 2001 and hired Siri to direct it.Stratus then boarded the film to finance.

"Having the opportunity tocontinue our relationship with Bruce Willis, which began with Pulp Fiction, is something that we didn't have to think twiceabout," said Miramax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein who bought the film afterseeing 40 minutes of footage. "The film that Stratus and Cheyenne have puttogether is something we think North American audiences will have greatanticipation to see as it is based on a fantastic book, being brought to thescreen by a group of top-notch filmmakers."

"We are extremely gratifiedthat, after seeing 40 minutes of footage, Harvey showed the same enthusiasm wefeel for the film and we closed a deal within 72 hours," added Yari. "I can'timagine a better person to have behind the marketing and distribution for awide release of our film."

Matt Brodlie, Miramax seniorvice president of acquisitions, brought Hostage into Miramax.

Jere Hausfater, MiramaxInternational executive vice president, David Miercort, senior vice presidentof acquisitions and business affairs, and Brodlie negotiated the agreement onbehalf of Miramax. Neil Sacker, chief operating officer and general counsel forBob Yari's body of film companies, negotiated on behalf of Stratus.

Stratus Film Company's firstfilm Laws Of Attraction starringPierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore is opening later this month in the US throughNew Line; the company is in various stages of production on Matador also starring Brosnan, Prime with Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep and Winter Passing with Will Ferrell and Ed Harris.