Scotts digs ‘Diamond’

Brothers join Gaty's A.G. Prods. as producers

Ridley and Tony Scott’s Scott Free has come aboard to produce “Diamond Dead,” a black comedy to be directed by “Night of the Living Dead” helmer George Romero.

Richard Hartley (“Stealing Beauty”) has composed the music for a pic about a garage band brought back from the grave for a rocket ride to stardom. Brian Cooper wrote the script, which Romero has rewritten.

Project came out of the crypt last fall (Daily Variety, Nov. 25). The Scott brothers will join Andrew Gaty and his A.G. Prods. as the pic’s producers.

The film revolves around a mediocre ’80s-style band whose hopes for success seem dashed when they are killed. The young woman who caused their deaths tries to make amends by agreeing to a pact with the devil. The group is suddenly the hottest band around, even though its members are zombies.

Scott Free sparked to the project because Tony Scott is a fan of Romero’s work. Another plus was a huge Internet fan base that has developed since Gaty and Romero launched a Web site last year. Diamonddead.com, which has everything from chat rooms to script rewrites, has drawn 8 million hits before a frame of film has been shot.

Scott Free has its overall deal with 20th Century Fox, and the producer will bring “Diamond Dead” to Fox Searchlight in hopes of securing a domestic distributor before production begins in the summer. Project will likely shoot in Pittsburgh, where Romero has lensed his previous corpse capers.

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