Helmer known for 'La Haine,' thesping turn in 'Amelie'

Mathieu Kassovitz will direct Halle Berry and Penelope Cruz in “Gothika,” the Dark Castle supernatural thriller that will be a co-production between Warner Bros. and Columbia Pictures.

As a director, Kassovitz is best known for “La Haine” and the Jean Reno starrer “The Crimson Rivers.” He is perhaps more recognizable recently as a star of “Amelie” and “Amen,” the latter being the politically charged WWII drama directed by Costa-Gavras. Endeavor made Kassovitz’s directing deal.

Written by Sebastian Gutierrez, “Gothika” stars Berry as a criminal psychologist who awakens to find herself a patient in her own mental institution, unable to remember a murder she supposedly committed. She is victimized by a vengeful spirit in the asylum. Cruz plays a fellow inmate.

Joel Silver, Robert Zemeckis and Susan Levin will produce the film, with Richard Mirisch co-producing. Steve Richards, Don Carmody and Gary Ungar are exec producers. The film begins production in April, and will be released domestically for Halloween by WB. Columbia will distribute abroad.

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