Studio eyes vidgame pic as '05 tentpole

This article was updated at 2:00 p.m. PT on Sep. 26, 2003.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will make “Spy Hunter,” a film adaptation of the classic 1980s videogame, his next picture.

Universal, which this weekend releases the Rock’s latest, “The Rundown,” is considering “Spy Hunter” for a summer 2005 tentpole slot and hopes to develop the property into a franchise. Budget on the project is expected to run more than $90 million.

U had been eyeing the Rock for the pic since it acquired rights to “Spy Hunter” last summer from Midway Games.

Chuck Gordon and Adrian Askarieh are producing, and Original Films’ Neal Moritz and Marty Adelstein are expected to come aboard in some producing capacity.

In “Spy Hunter,” the Rock will play an ex-fighter pilot who fights spies and assassins with his high-tech G-6155 Interceptor car.

Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, who penned “2 Fast 2 Furious,” are scripting. No director has yet been set.

“Spy Hunter” will be the Rock’s fourth pic with Universal. He made his debut in “The Mummy Returns” and later toplined “The Scorpion King.”

After “The Rundown,” his next pic to be released will be MGM’s “Walking Tall,” in which Johnny Knoxville co-stars.

Supervising “Spy Hunter” for U are Scott Stuber, Dylan Clark and Jeff Kirshenbaum.

Production is skedded for spring 2004.

UTA reps the Rock.

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