Foster expands slate, taps Rosen VP of development

Fresh from the completion of screenwriter Jeff Arch’s “Sleepless in Seattle,” Gary Foster Prods. has hired Josie Rosen as veepee of development and outlined a number of projects in development.

Among the top projects on Foster’s agenda are screenwriter John Norville’s undersea treasure adventure “Morgan’s Cay” for TriStar Pictures and screenwriter Seth Flicker’s comedy “Brothers in Crime” for 20th Century Fox.

Headed by Gary Foster, the TriStar-based production shingle has provided the studio with five movies: “Sleepless in Seattle,””Side Out,””Loverboy,””Short Circuit” and “Short Circuit 2.”

“Sleepless” was one of the first projects Mike Medavoy purchased when he took over as TriStar chairman in 1990.

New veepee of development Rosen will be involved in all of Foster Prods.’ current projects. She replaces Elizabeth Rogers, who left the company in May to run the celebrity coordination operations for the Democratic National Committee.

Rosen most recently was director of development at Sandollar Prods., where she worked on “Shining Through” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” She previously helmed development at Helpern/Meltzer Prods.

The most recent addition to the Foster slate is “The Man on the Island,” based on a treatment by “Sleepless” cinematographer Sven Nykvist. To be produced by Foster and Lynda Obst, the project is about the racial tensions brought on by the colonization of West Africa in the early 20th century. Foster and Obst are attempting to line up studio financing for “Island,” with Nykvist attached to direct.

The company is prepping a high-tech comedy/fantasy with director John Badham. The untitled project will be co-produced with Turman-Foster Co., firm headed by Foster’s father, David, and Lawrence Turman. The father-and-son team just sold the project to TriStar.

“This will be the first project that we’ll work on together since I started my own company,” said Foster, who spend his early days in thebusiness under his father’s wing on such projects as “Running Scared,””The Mean Season” and “News at Eleven.”

Company also is developing the Warner Bros. project “Moo,” an action caper about the theft of a prized Japanese cow by a gang of super thieves. Written by Brian Helgeland, “Moo” will be co-produced by former TriStar exec VP of worldwide production Steve Randall. The project is in rewrite.

Among several projects long in development and still in the hopper are Brian Helgeland’s adaptation of David Morrel’s novel “The Fifth Profession” for TriStar and “The American Sportsmen” set-up with Kevin Costner and his Tig Prods. Written by Norville, the project is caught in the Orion Pictures bankruptcy; preliminary discussions to extricate it are under way.

“Sleepless in Seattle,” directed by Nora Ephron and starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, wrapped Sept. 25.

Produced for around $ 25 million, it’s penciled in for an April 23 release by TriStar, between studio’s Richard Gere starrer “Mr. Jones” and the Memorial Day release of Carolco’s “Cliffhanger.”

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