‘Snake’ to be first up for Maverick Co.

Madonna’s Maverick Picture Co. has closed a deal for its first film, the low-budget drama “Snake Eyes,” scheduled to begin production in January, sources confirmed Friday.

To star Harvey Keitel, Madonna and James Russo, “Snake Eyes” will be directed by Abel Ferrara (“King of New York”).

Budgeted at less than $ 10 million with full financing from PentAmerica, “Snake Eyes” is a drama about the lives of people inside the movie business.

Maverick co-chairman Freddy DeMann and Maverick Picture Co. president Ron Rotholz will be executive producers on “Snake Eyes,” the company’s first go picture after only three months of fulloperation. Domestic distribution plans for “Snake Eyes” are pending.

“We’re delighted to be working with filmmakers of this level for our first endeavor,” Rotholz said. “We’re especially pleased that we can be partnered with Gianni Nunnari and Vittorio Cecchi Gori at PentAmerica.”

Maverick Picture Co. was formed as part of Madonna’s reported $ 60 million multimedia deal with Time Warner Inc. (Daily Variety, April 21).

The pic jump-starts Maverick’s plans to release two to three movies annually. Maverick Picture Co. is readying a development slate that will be announced in early 1993. The company has a first-look with Warner Bros.

“Snake Eyes” was co-written by Ferrara and Nicholas St. John. Mary Kane is inked as producer. The movie will be shot in New York and Los Angeles.

Ferrara brought “Snake Eyes” to Maverick shortly after the company was launched. Keitel was already attached to star in the project, while Madonna and Russo were added later.

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