ZEMECKIS PREPARING TO MAKE ‘CONTACT’

Oscar winner Robert Zemeckis is eyeing Warner Bros.’ “Contact” as his next directorial project. Director George Miller exited last week over creative differences, which left questions about whether the project would stay afloat. To be produced by Lynda Obst with Carl Sagan and his wife, Ann Druyan, “Contact” is based on Sagan’s book and tells the story of an astronomer (Jodie Foster is lined up) who comes in contact with the first extraterrestrial. Ralph Fiennes has been offered the male lead. The latest draft of “Contact” was scripted by Jim Hart and Michael Goldenberg. Zemeckis has already had a couple of meetings on the project. The director has had a number of projects offered to him since he directed the Oscar favorite “Forrest Gump,” but nothing has caught his interest. The studio is hoping to start shooting early next year.

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