DePalma & Koepp set new Par pic

Paramount Pictures won the bidding for the David Koepp-Brian DePalma package “Snake Eyes,” which they wrote and will produce together. The deal, which includes all fees, was worth $4 million plus a backend for Koepp and $5 million for DePalma, who will direct. DePalma and the studio are said to be eyeing John Travolta for the project, which is on the fast track for a July start.

Travolta worked with DePalma on “Blowout” in 1981.

“Snake Eyes,” set in Atlantic City, is about a night in which a local detective witnesses the assassination of the Secretary of Defense during a heavyweight boxing title match. With a hurricane about to hit shore and 15,000 boxing fans as possible suspects, the cop must unravel the conspiracy before the perpetrators get away.

“The combination of Brian and David was too exciting to pass up,” said Par’s president of production, John Goldwyn. “We loved the script. It really explores this character who is tested by the circumstances to become a hero, which he does and earns it legitimately and compellingly. It also has great smash sequences.”

Paramount won the bidding against a very aggressive MGM. Polygram, for its Propaganda label, also was in the bidding. Another studio that took a crack at buying the property was Universal Pictures.

DePalma and Koepp had been talking about working together again, having previously teamed on “Mission: Impossible” and “Carlito’s Way.” Creative Artists Agency’s Richard Lovett reps DePalma. Koepp is repped by manager Gavin Polone of Hofflund/Polone.

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