CANNES — Filmline Intl. is set to shoot the $20 million Marlon Brando starrer “Free Money” in Montreal at the end of July, and Filmline prexy Nicolas Clermont is in final negotiations with other onscreen talent, including Charlie Sheen, Donald Sutherland and most likely Alicia Silverstone.

MDP Worldwide has all international rights to the pic except for North America, which the Montreal-based Filmline itself will handle.

Clermont describes the script, by Tony Peck and Joey Brutzman, as a black comedy in the vein of “Fargo.” Clermont expects to wrap negotiations with the thesps by the end of the week.

“Free Money” is one of six features on Filmline’s slate this year, the company’s most ambitious 12 months of activity ever.

With the addition of the sixth season of the “Highlander” series, co-produced with Gaumont, Filmline’s overall production budget for the year is in the range of $90 million. Prior to 1997, Filmline’s priciest slate was in 1995, when the company lensed $57 million worth of pics. One of the main reasons for the step up in budgets and the profile of the talent involved is the financial support of Malofilm Communications, which acquired Filmline last September.

“The good thing about my association with Malofilm is that it allows me to do more than one film at a time and move to larger films,” Clermont said.

Pix pack

Upcoming Filmline offerings include “Dissociated States,” a Canadian-Italian-French co-production to be directed by seasoned Italian helmer Liliana Cavani (“The Night Porter”) and produced by Filmline, Cattleya Films of Rome and Les Films de l’Astre in Paris. The script, adapted from the novel by American author Leonard Simon, was penned by Cavani and Gianni Romoli. This English-lingo project will go before the cameras in the fall in Montreal.

Filmline is also prepping a high-concept adventure film titled “Double Nickels” to be helmed by Christian Duguay, who directed “Screamers” and the miniseries “Million Dollar Babies.”

Duguay is attached to the Paramount project “Pathfinder,” and if “Pathfinder” goes ahead this summer, Filmline and Duguay will do “Double Nickels” next spring. But if “Pathfinder” doesn’t shoot this year, the Filmline pic will be Duguay’s next project and will lense in the fall. The script from Dario Scardapane (“Posse”) tells the story of the kidnapping of a Bill Gates-like high-tech genius.

Featuring ‘Father’

Other Filmline titles on the slate include “This Is My Father,” toplining Aidan Quinn, James Caan, John Cusack and Stephen Rea; and “Noose,” currently lensing in Boston under the direction of Ted Demme. “Noose” is produced by Filmline, Demme’s Spanky Prods. and Phoenician Films, and stars Denis Leary, Ian Hart and Billy Zane.

Filmline is also in post-production on “The Peacekeeper,” with Dolph Lundgren, Roy Scheider and Michael Sarrazin. The action film is being sold here by Nu Image.

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