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Fox Buys ‘Predators’ Writers’ Deep-Space Action Pitch; Timur Bekmambetov Could Direct

Fox Buys 'Predators' Writers' Deep-Space Action Pitch; Timur Bekmambetov Could Direct

Weinstein Company Also Picks Up Separate Bekmambetov-Produced ‘Apollo 18’ Film For March 4, 2011 Release

Figuring out how many fingers in various pies Timur Bekmambetov has is quickly becoming a Ridley Scott-like pop-quiz that your editor might spring on you one day and you’re likely to fail. The “Wanted” director is developing myriad projects, including “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” (separate from the David Fincher one), a sci-fi film withMonsters” director Gareth Edwards, and “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” (among many others) which is his next directorial vehicle and is already slated for a June 22, 2012 release date.

Let’s add two more to the growing list. The first and perhaps most exciting one to genre fans sounds enticing, but it’s nowhere near a done deal. 20th Century Fox have paid a reported high seven-figure deal for a pitch by “Predators” writers Alex Litvak & Mike Finch to write a secret deep-space action thriller project. Bekmambetov is currently circling the project and could direct, but it’s only a pitch right now so he’s likely going to wait until the script is actually complete — and he likes it — before he signs on-board, but clearly he’s head the pitch and is intrigued. Apart from “Predators” Litvak & Finch are known for “Medieval,” a spec script they sold for major dough (Rob Cohen is still attached to direct, the project is aiming to shoot next year) and they’re also trying to write what feels like the 4th version of “He-Man: Masters of the Universe” for Sony (a few attempts including one called “Grayskull” already failed and were not green lit). Litvak also penned the Paul W.S. Anderson 3D film, “The Three Musketeers” which is currently in production.

Onto project number two. Trevor Caewood is (“Terminus” and a visual effects supervisor and technical director on films like “Matrix Reloaded” and ‘Revolutions‘) is directing a new “Apollo 18,” written by Brian Miller (“Things Fall Apart,” “Caught In The Crossfire“). Bekmambetov is producing and the film was recently acquired by The Weinstein Company.

Already deep into production the film also now has a March 4, 2011 release date. It’s said to be a reality based thriller along the lines of the “Paranormal Activity,” films, the upcoming Oren Peli-directed “Area 51,” and the JJ Abrams-helmed “Super 8.” All of this simply might be code for, “it’s done on the cheap and there’s lots of margin for profit. TWC won’t argue with that and Bob and Harvey surely would love to get in on the inexpensively-produced, highly-profitable thriller world of films. They’ve bought worldwide rights and that moon mission from the early ’70s was officially canceled by NASA, but according to urban legend, it actually happened. It sounds like Bekmambetov has already shot some footage to propagate this myth and turn that idea into a thriller-ish story. He’ll also act as a creative director like he does on most of his projects, regardless if he’s directing and it at this rate it’s only a matter of time until his name is as recognized as say JJ Abrams. [Deadline/Deadline]

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