Brosnan’s ready to paint ‘Sienna’

Col picks up Morrell novel

NEW YORK — As Pierce Brosnan nears a deal to next topline “The Tailor of Panama” for Columbia, the actor is eyeing a return engagement at MGM to follow.

The studio has made a preemptive mid- against high-six-figure buy of “Burnt Sienna,” an upcoming novel from David Morrell that Brosnan will star in and produce with Beau St. Clair producing through their Irish Dreamtime Prods. banner.

Irish Dreamtime last year produced the MGM remake of “The Thomas Crown Affair.” The film grossed more than $70 million domestically for MGM and gave Brosnan a one-two punch, as “Crown” and the 007 pic “The World Is Not Enough” were the studio’s biggest hits of 1999. The acquisition was made by MGM exec veep Alex Gartner.

Even while the studio contemplates the 20th installment of the Bond series, MGM wanted to be back in the Brosnan business sooner.

In “Burnt Sienna,” Brosnan will play a former Marine pilot who leaves the service to become an artist living in Mexico. When he turns down a commission to paint the portrait of the wife of a top arms dealer, the painter finds his quiet life turned upside down by the scorned dealer. He soon joins a CIA mission to bring down the villain.

The character is almost a mix of Rambo and Bond, an American who’s more rugged and gritty than the suave British secret agent.

Brosnan is an accomplished painter and art collector, which helped him spark to the book. Tome will be published by Warner Books next spring. Morrell wrote “First Blood,” the novel that hatched the Rambo series.

A writer will be hired quickly in hopes of making the pic right after Brosnan completes work in “Tailor of Panama,” the film that John Boorman adapted and will direct from the John Le Carre bestseller, and which also has Geoffrey Rush and Jamie Lee Curtis in its crosshairs.

The negotiations aren’t complete, but Brosnan expects to make that his next starring effort. “Tailor” centers on a Brit intelligence operative in Latin America who manipulates a crisis that leads the U.S. to invade Panama and nullify the Panama Treaty.

UTA and lit agent Henry Morrison represented the author.

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