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Hartnett making a ‘Wish’

Thesp toplines FilmEngine's production

CANNES — Reuniting with the producers of “O,” Josh Hartnett has attached to topline “Wish You Were Here” for production and finance concern FilmEngine.

The action-adventure pic, penned by Christian Gudegast and Paul Scheuring, tells the story of four friends who make an ill-fated attempt to smuggle a fortune out of Morocco.

FilmEngine and management-production venture BenderSpink will produce the project alongside Hartnett, Gudegast and Scheuring. FilmEngine is out to directors with the project, in which Hartnett will star pending approval of a helmer.

Hartnett is also attached to another FilmEngine project, “The Rum Diary,” based on Hunter S. Thompson’s novel, which is being penned by “Backbeat” scribe Michael Thomas.

Pic is being produced by Greg Shapiro (Nick Nolte’s partner in KingsGate Films), FilmEngine’s Anthony Rhulen and Robert S. Kravis, who originated the project at Shooting Gallery. Thompson, and “Rum” co-stars Johnny Depp and Nolte, will exec produce with Bill Shively. An early spring 2003 start is expected for lensing in Puerto Rico.

FilmEngine is in production on “The Butterfly Effect,” a psychological thriller co-written and directed by Eric Bress and Jon Gruber. William Lee Scott, Elden Henson, Eric Stoltz and Melora Walters recently joined Ashton Kutcher and Amy Smart in this “Butterfly,” exec produced by Kutcher, Jason Goldberg and Shively with FilmEngine and BenderSpink producing. New Line will be distributing throughout North America.

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