Sony, DreamWorks financial backing unclear

Close to landing a very big fish indeed, producers Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen are in serious discussions with Steven Spielberg to helm “Big Fish” at Columbia Pictures.

“Fish” would reunite Spielberg with the producing team behind “American Beauty” — a pic that brought home DreamWorks’ first best picture Oscar.

Based on the novel by Daniel Wallace, “Fish” has been adapted for the screen by scripter John August (“Go”). It’s likely to be Spielberg’s next project after “Minority Report” next year at 20th Century Fox.

“Big Fish” is the story of braggart and exaggerator Edward Bloom and his son William, who after a long estrangement returns home only to learn his father is dying of cancer. Desperate to know the complicated man before it’s too late, William sets about trying to unravel fact from fiction, with much of the story told in humorous or poignant flashback.

Financing unclear

It’s unclear at this point whether the film will be wholly financed by Columbia parent Sony or whether Spielberg’s DreamWorks will be involved.

Producer Cohen goes a long way back with Spielberg. He served as the second assistant director to Spielberg on “Always” and as the first assistant director on “Hook” nine years ago.

“Big Fish’s” development and production would be overseen by Columbia’s senior veepee of production, Andrea Gianetti.

August is repped by United Talent Agency; Wallace is repped by Richard Green and Howie Sanders; Spielberg is repped by Creative Artists Agency.

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