Price of pic peaked when it became a period piece

This article was corrected on Feb. 5, 2003.

Starsky and Hutch have a new partner. His name is Bob Weinstein.

Dimension Films is coming aboard to co-finance the Warner Bros. action comedy, written by Todd Phillips and Scot Armstrong with Phillips set to helm.

Pic stars Ben Stiller as Det. David Starsky, Owen Wilson as Det. Kenneth Hutchinson and Snoop Dogg as their streetwise informant, Huggy Bear.

The initial plan was to simply update the classic 1974 cop skein “Starsky and Hutch” for the bigscreen and set it in present-day Los Angeles.

However, when Phillips and company decided it would be better served as a period piece, costuming and set design expenses rose, and co-financing was sought. No official word on budget for the pic, but insiders say it is already north of $60 million.

It helps that Phillips made a three-year, first-look deal with Dimension and Miramax Films last summer (Daily Variety July, 2002) and that his upcoming “Old School” is testing to very high numbers.

A spokeswoman for Warner Bros. would not confirm the co-financing negotiations, however insiders familiar with the situation say a pact is expected to be announced shortly. A spokeswoman for Dimension Films in Los Angeles could not comment on the pact, either.

Pic is being produced by Akiva Goldsman, Alan Riche, Tony Ludwig, series creator William Blinn, Stiller and his Red Hour partner, Stuart Cornfeld. Exec producer is Gil Adler, who is also its line producer.

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