Aggressive German player Splendid Medien and its subsidiary Initial Entertainment Group (IEG) are putting up between $35m-$45m of the $60m-$65m budget for Fox Searchlight's Traffic, set to star Harrison Ford and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

IEG will take international rights to the film, while 20th Century Fox will handle domestic distribution. The project is set to start shooting in April with Steven Soderbergh directing. Ford will play a judge battling against the drug trade in the US. Zeta-Jones is expected to take the female lead.

Splendid/IEG are also co-financing such high-calibre productions as Robert Altman's Dr T. And The Women, starring Richard Gere and Helen Hunt which is currently in production, and Martin Scorcese's Gangs Of New York, set to star Leonardo DiCaprio and shoot at the Cinecitta studios near Rome. IEG also has a two-year exclusive production deal with Zeta-Jones' production company.