Newman, Fiorentino team for heist thriller

Weinstock and Zarpas to produce

Paul Newman has signed to star with Linda Fiorentino in Intermedia Films’ long-gestating thriller “Where the Money Is.”

Priced at just under $20 million, the Marek Kanievska-helmed pic is one of the largest-budgeted projects Intermedia has attempted.

“Money” will be produced by Weinstock Prods.’ Charles Weinstock and Scott Free Prods.’ Chris Zarpas. Scott Free chairman Ridley Scott will executive produce with Intermedia principals Guy East and Nigel Sinclair.

“Money,” which was written by George Graves, Topper Lilien and Carroll Cartwright, is the story of a nurse (Fiorentino) who teams up with a burnt-out bank robber (Newman) for one last heist. Pic begins shooting in the U.S. this July.

“Money” was previously set up to star Sean Connery, but he dropped out late last year to concentrate on “Entrapment” for 20th Century Fox.

Intermedia will finance “Money” and handle worldwide distribution. Pic has already been picked up by Polygram Films for the U.S., and CLT-Ufa for France, Germany, Benelux and Eastern Europe.

This is the second collaboration between Scott Free and Intermedia, following David Dobkin’s “Clay Pigeons.” Polygram’s specialty division, Gramercy Pictures, has U.S. rights to “Pigeons.”

Late last year, Scott Free cemented its relationship with Polygram by signing a three-year, first-look deal with the studio. “Pigeons” and “Money” will count as the company’s first two titles under its new pact.

Polish-born director Kanievska has a small feature film oeuvre that encompasses the 1984 Rupert Everett-starrer “Another Country” and the 1987 drama “Less Than Zero,” which starred Andrew McCarthy, James Spader and Robert Downey Jr.

Following “Zero,” Kanievska chose to focus on directing commercials, working principally for the Scotts’ U.K. commercials house RSA, and becoming one of the top commercials directors in Europe.

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