Fox takes ‘Walk’ with Reeves

“A Walk in the Clouds,” a World War II romance set in Napa Valley, is trotting from MGM to 20th Century Fox, where Keanu Reeves will star in the pic.

A deal is imminent, sources on the Fox lot said late Monday, and “Like Water for Chocolate’s” Alfonso Arau will direct from a script written by Robert Mark Kamen. The Zucker brothers and Gil Netter are scheduled to produce, and the midbudget project could roll as early as July.

“A Walk in the Clouds” will feature Reeves, who starred in “My Own Private Idaho,” playing a battle-weary war hero who returns to San Francisco and falls in love with a Mexican patrician. The conflict arises when her landed-gentry family tries to thwartthe romance with Reeves’ more plebeian character.

If the project gels, it will no doubt represent a pivotal step in Fox’s efforts to establish a long-term relationship with the actor. For just as Warner Bros. co-CEOs Robert Daly and Terry Semel have enjoyed fruitful long-term relationships with key stars like Clint Eastwood, Kevin Costner and Mel Gibson, it seems Fox is on the cusp of getting into the Reeves business.

Results of weekend test screenings of “Speed” were the talk of the lot Monday; word is that the studio will soon sign Reeves for a sequel. Execs are pleased by the “‘Die Hard’ on a bus” that they’ve moved its release date up to June 10.

Depending upon how “Speed” performs at the box office, 1994 could shape up as the year that Reeves makes the transition from quirky juvenile to leading man with big box office. Aside from “A Walk in the Clouds,” the actor will appear in TriStar’s “Johnny Mnemonic.” The Robert Longo film, based on cyberpunk scribe William Gibson’s novel, co-stars Dolph Lundgren and Ice-T and is scheduled to wrap April 22.

After “A Walk in the Clouds,” Reeves is attached to star in “Feeling Minnesota”– written by Sundance Director’s Lab alum Steven Baigelman. The script is in development at Jersey Films and has no domestic distribution in place.

Reeves is represented by Creative Artists Agency’s Kevin Huvane and Todd Smith, and Erwin Stoff at 3 Arts Entertainment.

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