ElieSamaha's Franchise Pictures may be busying itself for its Aug 5 trialdate in its ongoing legal battle with Germany's Intertainment AG, but itcontinues to board new projects and has three new ones available for pre-saleat AFM -Paul Verhoeven's next picture Void Moon, the next from David Mamet entitled Spartan with Val Kilmer in the lead role and aRidley Scott-produced epic Tristan & Isolde to be directed by Kevin Reynolds andstar James Franco.
Franchise, 49%of which was recently acquired by Southern California construction magnateRonald Tutor and his Tutor-Saliba Corp and co-investor, David Bergstein stillhas a domestic distribution deal with Warner Bros whereby Warner handles allFranchise picture budgeted over $20m. Coming up this year through thearrangement are Rob Reiner's Loosely Based On A True Story aka Alex And Emma starring Kate Hudson and Luke Wilson,Andrew Fleming's The Wedding Party with Michael Douglas and Albert Brooks, sequel The WholeTen Yards directed byHoward Deutch and starring Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry and family movie HairyTale with Roma Downeyand Matthew Modine.
Void Moon, based on the novel by Michael Connelly(Blood Work) andadapted by Michael Cristofer (Original Sin, The Witches Of Eastwick), is a thriller about a gifted thief whogets into trouble with the mob when she steals a fortune in Las Vegas. It marksthe latest female driven thriller from Verhoeven who has provided juicy andcontroversial roles for women in Showgirls, Basic Instinct and Starship Troopers. His other films include Total Recall and Hollow Man.
Ridley Scott,who won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his recent HBO Films production TheGathering Storm,produces Tristan And Isolde, the epic story of the English knight who wins thehand of the Irish King's daughter for his king, only to threaten theexisting truce between their two countries. The film which is due to shoot inEurope, is not to be confused with an Intermedia-sold version of the storybeing produced by Samuel Hadida's Davis Film with Rupert Wainwrightattached to direct. Reynolds' credits include The Count Of MonteCristo, 187, Waterworldand Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves. Franco, who will play Tristan, previously starred inFranchise's City By The Sea and has upcoming roles in Robert Altman's The Company, John Dahl's The Great Raid and Sam Raimi's The AmazingSpider-Man.
Mamet hadpreviously directed Heist for Franchise in 2001 and was scheduled to make The Diary Of AYoung London Physicianwith Jude Law as Dr Jekyll but that project has fallen apart. Spartan is a thriller starring Val Kilmer as asecret service man assigned the task of rescuing the president's abducteddaughter, only to find a larger conspiracy plot within the White House. Mametwrote the film, which has yet to be cast, and his producer Art Linson isproducing with Franchise.
Meanwhile alsoat AFM, former Franchise Pictures president and partner Andrew Stevens islaunching his own new venture Powerhouse Entertainment.