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U picks Pogue’s ‘Arabian Night’

Universal Pictures is close to shagging a new flying carpet fantasy, picking up Charles Edward Pogue’s “An Arabian Night” with producers Rob Fried and David Kirschner attached.

The project, originally developed as a treatment five years ago by Pogue and Kirschner, is a live-action adventure/fantasy story set in the time period of such films as “The Thief of Bagdad.”

Woods split-up

Fried, who is in the midst of disbanding his producer deal with Cary Woods at TriStar, was the one who brought it to U’s prexy Casey Silver and exec production veepee Hal Lieberman.

This is the second fantasy project Pogue has at Universal. The other project, “Dragonheart,” is currently in development for a possible summer 1995 release. The pic combines live action with computer-generated animation in a story about a 10th-century knight and a dragon who team up to fight a warlord.

Cohen set to direct

It’s to be directed by Rob Cohen, who was brought in after Richard Donner dropped out of the project.

Pogue also wrote “The Fly” and “D.O.A.”

Fried, meanwhile, recently produced the upcoming Norman Jewison film “Just in Time,” as well as “So I Married an Axe Murderer” and “Rudy.” The producing team, who are splitting when their deal at TriStar ends this summer, have a number of other projects at that studio, including “Godzilla.”

Kirschner currently has a film deal at 20th Century Fox.

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