Screen Gems, the mid-budget releasing division of Sony Pictures Entertainment, has acquired all North American rights to Lakeshore Entertainment's psychological thriller The Mothman Prophecies which is set to start shooting in Jan 2001. Richard Gere will star and Mark Pellington (Arlington Road) will direct.

The film is based on a true story about a journalist (Gere) investigating a bizarre series of supernatural events in a small country town. Producers are Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi and Gary Goldstein. The film joins a growing lineup of pictures which Screen Gems will distribute including Guy Ritchie's Snatch and John Carpenter's Ghosts Of Mars.