Gere shifts to ‘Emperor’

Romancer is based on a Vanity Fair article

This article was corrected on April 15, 2003.

In their first rematch since “Primal Fear,” Richard Gere and director Gregory Hoblit have committed to team on “Emperor Zehnder,” a film that has gotten a co-financing agreement from Ashok Armitraj’s Hyde Park Entertainment and Jake Eberts’ National Geographic.

Pic, based on a Vanity Fair article, is a love story centered around the true story of Bruno P. Zehnder, who dedicated his life to photographing Emperor penguins in the Antarctic, and his love affair with a New York-based doctor who accompanied him on one of his photographic journeys.

Article was penned by Vanity Fair-writer-turned-scribe Ned Zeman and Daniel Bernstein and will likely be partly shot in the Antarctic.

Gere, who won the Golden Globe for “Chicago,” will do the film after he co-stars with Jennifer Lopez in Miramax’s remake of “Shall We Dance.”

Amritraj and Eberts will produce pic alongside Adam Schroeder and Christine Whitaker, president of production of National Geograhic Feature Films, with Hyde Park’s president Jon Jashni also expected to take some form of executive producer credit. Film is expected to be released internationally under Hyde Park’s various foreign output deals.

As of late Friday a number of studios were vying for domestic rights to the pic, including Disney, where Hyde Park has overall production and co-financing, and other bidders including Paramount and Miramax, though no deal has been sealed.

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