Eisner gets just deserts: ‘Sahara’ gig

Mouse exec's son directed TV; moves to movies

Breck Eisner is in negotiations to helm “Sahara,” the first bigscreen version of the Dirk Pitt bestselling action-adventure by Clive Cussler.

Eisner, son of Walt Disney Co. topper Michael Eisner, has established himself as a TV director with an episode of “Steven Spielberg Presents Taken” and pilots for “Thought Crimes” and “The Invisible Man.” Eisner, repped by WMA, is also attached to develop action-comedy “Big Ticket” for DreamWorks.

“Sahara” was greenlit last May by Crusader Entertainment, with Paramount picking up domestic distribution along with the U.K., Italy, Spain, Australia and New Zealand distribution rights. Crusader inked a three-year, first-look U.S. distribution deal with Paramount in 2001.

“Sahara” would introduce Dirk Pitt as a modern-day Indiana Jones. Story would be set in the Sahara Desert and central Africa with Pitt and a U.N. medical team battling a deadly microbe that threatens the global marine environment.

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