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Rhino, Summit near ‘Fear’

Rhino Films and Summit Entertainment are in final negotiations on international rights to “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” the screen version of the notorious Hunter Thompson novel that was first serialized in Rolling Stone magazine.

Summit president and CEO Patrick Wachsberger declined to comment and Rhino film topper Steve Nemeth could not be reached, but buyers at the AFM were buzzing about the project, which is slated to begin lensing in late April. A heated bidding war developed over the past week, with several sales companies pursuing the project, including MDP and Michael Mendelsohn’s Patriot Pictures.

Alex Cox (“Repo Man,” “Sid and Nancy”) is aboard as director. Pic is scripted by Cox and Tod Davies. Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro have long been rumored as taking the lead roles, but sources say they are now close to signing on.

Rhino is financing the project. Producers are Nemeth and Laila Nabulsi.

No domestic distrib is yet involved.

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