Love takes ‘Darker’ turn in Hit & Run pic

Lensing to begin in April

LONDON — Fresh from playing Jim Carrey’s girlfriend in “Man on the Moon,” Courtney Love will topline “Darker Saints,” a $15 million erotic thriller set in New Orleans.

Hit & Run Prods., the film arm of New York-based management firm Hit & Run Music, is co-producing the pic with Love and her partner Janet Billig through their own Epitome Films.

London-based sales company IAC Films has struck a deal with Hit & Run to finance the project, in what is expected to be the start of a multi-pic relationship.

Love will play an FBI forensic expert called in to track a ritualistic serial killer who is targeting streetwalkers in the New Orleans French Quarter.

The screenplay is by Tony Kayden, and the pic is slated to shoot next April in New Orleans and Toronto. No director is yet attached.

Tony Smith and Hilary Shor of Hit & Run will produce.

The relationship between IAC and Hit & Run was brokered by Michael Ryan, the former J&M honcho who is now working as a consultant to IAC.

Perfect marriage

“In Hit & Run and IAC I saw a perfect marriage,” Ryan said. “There are only a handful of independent feature films produced each year that are seen in any way as competition to the majors. I believe this combination can reach those heights.”

Tony Smith said, “We are really pleased with this new alliance, as it was our intention, when Hilary and I formed Hit & Run Prods., that it should be a London/New York collaboration in terms of the type of movies we wanted to make.”

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