McGregor to be ‘Eye’ guy

“Trainspotting” star Ewan McGregor is set to star in Aussie helmer Stephan Elliot’s indie pic, “Eye of the Beholder” for Mark Damon’s MDP Worldwide.

Set to go before the cameras in January, McGregor will play a disenfranchised high-tech private eye who becomes obsessed with, and follows cross-country, a mysterious woman who turns out to be a serial killer (Daily Variety, May 1).

Hilary Shor and Tony Smith, partners in Gotham-based Hit and Run Prods., will take on producing chores along with Al Clark. Mark Damon will executive produce.

The $15 million psycho-thriller — adapted by Elliott from a Marc Behm novel — will be shot on location in the U.S.

L.A.-based MDP is handling financing and worldwide distribution for the pic. The remaining casting has not been set, but talks are under way with actresses to play the two female leads.

Rising star

McGregor’s star has risen quickly since his starring turn in Danny Boyle’s hit film, “Trainspotting.” He will play the young Obi Wan Kenobi in George Lucas’ first new “Star Wars” film.

The thesp followed “Trainspotting” with roles in “Emma,” “The Pillow Book” and the upcoming “Brassed Off.” He also stars in “The Serpent’s Kiss,” which will appear in Main Competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

The thesp reteamed with the “Trainspotting” triumvirate of helmer Danny Boyle, producer Andrew Macdonald and writer John Hodge on the forthcoming Fox Searchlight release, “A Life Less Ordinary,” in which he co-stars with Holly Hunter and Delray Lindo.

Going to Cannes

Elliott — who gained notoriety with his second feature, “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” — also makes the trip to Cannes this year with his latest film, “Welcome to Whoop Whoop” (formerly known as “The Big Red”), which has been selected as one of the gala midnight screenings at the fest.

McGregor was repped on the deal by agent Lindy King from U.K.-based Peters, Fraser and Dunlop, Ltd.

MDP will be represented at Cannes by helmer Abel Ferrara’s “Blackout,” which has been invited as an official selection to the fest lineup. The pic will premiere Friday as the first midnight screening of the festival, with stars Claudia Schiffer, Beatrice Dahl, Mathew Modine, Dennis Hopper and Ferrara expected to attend.

Hit and Run currently is developing a feature based on Ayn Rand’s short story, “The Husband I Bought,” which is set up with Douglas-Reuther Prods. The New York and London-based company also acquired the rights to Jane Woods’ novel “Josey Rose,” to which the Brit writing-helming team of Dudi Appleton and Jim Keeble are attached.

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