Anderson skedded to helm 'Castlevania' pic

Dimension Films has closed a North American distribution deal on “Castlevania,” a thriller based on the Konami videogame franchise that Paul W.S. Anderson will adapt and direct.

Studio closed a deal Monday morning at 2:30 with Crystal Sky Pictures’ Steven Paul and Benedict Carver, who’d just bought rights from the vidgame maker (Daily Variety, Nov. 2).

Dimension’s Bob Weinstein, Richard Saperstein, Michael Cole and Matt Stein crashed a private dinner party at Shutters on Friday that Crystal Sky organized so Anderson could meet overseas buyers. By dessert, Crystal Sky altered its plan to broker the domestic rights deal later. Weinstein had a Saturday meeting with Anderson, and production head Saperstein led an eight-hour marathon negotiating session with Crystal Sky’s Carver that culminated in the latenight deal.

Studio wouldn’t comment on its investment, but others said it will be a significant percentage of a budget expected to be $50 million. Though Anderson is also attached to direct a remake of “Death Race 2000” at Paramount, he has already begun writing the bloodsucker storyline for “Castlevania” and is expected to put the film into production by next summer.

For Anderson and Impact Films producing partner Jeremy Bolt, AFM has proven to be a most productive week for vidgame adaptations. The duo were at the center of a bidding battle for domestic rights to “Resident Evil 3,” which Anderson is writing and will produce with Bolt.

A bidding battle began Tuesday for domestic rights to “Dead or Alive,” the Corey Yuen-directed videogame transformation that Anderson and Bolt are producing. That pic was shot in China and is in post-production. A distribution deal was imminent.

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