France's Pathe hasboarded Oliver Stone's historical epic Alexander as a co-production partner and will handledistribution rights in France and Benelux.

The film, which is beingfinanced by Intermedia and stars Colin Farrell, is scheduled to start shootingin the summer and is being structured as a UK-France-Germany co-production.

Warner Bros has domesticrights to the picture which it plans to open domestically in fall 2004, sixmonths or so after Warner's other classical epic Troy starring Brad Pitt and directed by Wolfgang Petersonwhich will open on May 21, 2004.

Pathe veteran Paul Rassamwas instrumental in brokering the deal between Intermedia and Pathe for Alexander. Intermedia's sales partnership with SummitEntertainment, I/S Film Distribution, is handling other territories at Cannes.

Intermedia chairman MoritzBorman told Screendaily that the remaining financial structure on the film,which is expected to cost well in excess of $100m, is currently being puttogether. In addition to Warner and Pathe, IMF, the German Film Fund associatedwith Intermedia, will invest in the picture.

Farrell stars as theMacedonian emperor in the film which has been scripted by Stone. Borman saidthat the script, which has been kept tightly under wraps, "as the bestscript Oliver has ever written." Other key characters currently beingcast are Alexander's mother and father and Ptolemy, one of his generals.

Stone meanwhile has beentraveling around the world for the last year scouting locations from northernAfrica to northern India. Although considered the underdog in the race to bringthe Alexander story to the screen again, the Stone picture now looks set tocommence production before a rival film set up as a co-venture betweenUniversal and DreamWorks SKG to which Baz Luhrmann is attached as director andLeonardo DiCaprio as star.

Alexander is the third recent picture from an internationalname director which Pathe has boarded in the last year, following Jean Jacques-Annaud's tiger drama Two Tigers which Universal is handling in North America andJane Campion's thriller In The Cut starring Meg Ryan which Screen Gems has for domestic.