Deal worth mid- against high-six figures

Warner Bros. has hired Darren Lemke to pen a sequel to the hit 1996 cyclone pic “Twister.”

Lemke’s “Twister 2” deal is worth a reported mid- against high-six figures. Sources said he’ll work from a story by Michael Crichton.

“Twister” was hardly an ill wind for its producers, taking in $242 million in domestic returns and $252 million internationally.

As with the original “Twister,” Warners, Universal and Stephen Spielberg’s Amblin will split various production and distribution duties. Kathleen Kennedy, Ian Bryce and Crichton, who produced the first pic, will produce the follow-up.

Stars may return

So far, none of the primary elements from the first “Twister,” most notably stars such as Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton or director Jan De Bont, are attached to the sequel, but sources said the producers are developing the movie with the original stars in mind.

Arriving in Hollywood barely a year and a half ago, Lemke has already set up several scripts and pitches around town: He’s currently developing the CGI animated sci-fier “XO” at DreamWorks, where his script “Paradise Falls” is on track for director Mark Romanek; last year, 20th Century Fox picked up another pitch, “The Reckoning”; and Touchstone kicked off his screenwriting career when it purchased two pitches.

Lemke’s “Twister 2” deal was brokered by United Talent Agency.

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