Spottiswoode plants flag atop ‘Vertical Limit’

To helm thriller about K2 climb

Roger Spottiswoode, who took over the ever-daunting James Bond franchise with “Tomorrow Never Dies,” has inked to helm “Vertical Limit” for TriStar Pictures, the studio confirmed Tuesday.

Project, scripted by Robert King, is a thriller set in the midst of a climb on Godwin Austen, the second-highest mountain in the world, also known as K2.

TriStar hopes to go into production by the end of the year, though Spottiswoode is not yet pay-or-play on the pic. Helmer Stuart Baird previously had been attached in the development stage.

Phoenix Pictures, which purchased the original “Vertical Limit” spec for $1 million, will produce; TriStar will fully finance the pic.

TriStar prexy of production Chris Lee and exec VP Lauren Lloyd will oversee the pic for the studio. Phoenix execs Christy Prunier and Nick Morton will rep Phoenix on the project.

Spottiswoode’s Bond pic grossed MGM/UA more than $100 million domestically and became the most successful of all the Bond franchise pics. His other credits include “Under Fire,” “Shoot to Kill,” “Air America,” “Turner and Hooch,” “And the Band Played On” and “The Best of Times.”

William Morris Agency reps John Burnham and Mike Sheresky brokered the deal for Spottiswoode. Attorney Tom Hansen also repped the director.

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