Ensemble drama of AWOL soldier set for 2001

Helmer Nick Cassavetes will follow New Line’s “John Q” with his own adaptation of “Going After Cacciato,” a $24 million pic that will be produced by Butch Kaplan and backed by Emmett/Furla Films and Evolution Entertainment. A spring 2001 start is planned.

Cassavetes plans to shoot “Cacciato,” an ensemble drama, on locations in Europe, Toronto and Asia, to tell the story of the title character, who goes AWOL with the intention of walking to France, and his battalion mates, who set out after him and bring him back.

Randall Emmett and George Furla of Emmett/Furla and Mark Burg and Oren Koules of Evolution will serve as executive producers. Burg is also a producer on “John Q.”

“Going After Cacciato” is the third project under Emmett/Furla’s publicly traded Family Room Entertainment Corp. banner. Family Room and Evolution most recently teamed up with Arthur Chang of Kingman Films Intl. to produce “Good Advice,” starring Charlie Sheen, Angie Harmon and Denise Richards.

Family Room also co-financed “Ticker,” which stars Tom Sizemore and Steven Seagal and was produced by Emmett, Furla and Paul Rosenbloom. Artisan holds domestic rights on the film and Nu Image/Millennium represents the film overseas.

Cassavetes previously directed Miramax Films’ “She’s So Lovely,” starring John Travolta and Sean Penn, from a script written by his late father John Cassavetes.

The “Cacciato” novel won the National Book Award in 1979.

Deal was negotiated on behalf of Kaplan and Cassavetes by Stephen Monas of Business Affairs Inc. and on behalf of Emmett/Furla by VP of business affairs M. Dal Walton III and Rick Rosenthal of Grakal, Root & Rosenthal. Cassavetes is represented by UTA and AMG.

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