‘Eaters’ bites Venora, Sharif

Diane Venora and Omar Sharif have whetted their appetites for Touchstone Pictures’ “Eaters of the Dead,” based on Michael Crichton’s 1976 novel.

Venora and Sharif will join Antonio Banderas in the story set in 922 AD about an Arab courtier who goes with a group of Vikings to the North. Although the courtier is put off by the barbaric filthiness of the Vikings, he ends up trying to save them from a fatal terror that is eating their flesh.

John McTiernan is helming, from a screenplay adaptation by Crichton.

Crichton and McTiernan are producing. Andy Vajna will exec produce.

Touchstone president Donald DeLine is overseeing the project.

Venora, who co-starred in “Heat,” just worked opposite Bruce Willis and Richard Gere in “Jackal.” Her deal was brokered by Gary Gersh and David Guc of Innovative Artists. She’s also repped by Sarah Jackson and William Blayloch of Seven Summits Pictures and Management.

Sharif starred in such classics as “Dr. Zhivago” and “Funny Girl.”

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