Par, MTV dive ‘Beneath’

Pic follows a woman haunted by car crash visions

Paramount Classics and MTV Films have started production in Vancouver on psychological thriller “Beneath.” Nora Zehetner (“Brick”) and Matthew Settle (“Into the West”) star.

Story centers on a woman haunted by visions of a car crash in which she was the driver and her sister was disfigured.

Project represents an expansion of responsibilities for Paramount Classics, which has previously been limited to acquisitions. The division has been ramping up its activity as part of Tom Freston’s strategy since he became Viacom co-president a year ago.

“This marks a new step in the evolution of our company and we’re thrilled to be making it with our partners at MTV Films,” Par Classics co-prexys Ruth Vitale and David Dinerstein said in a statement.

MTV exec veep David Gale said the filmmakers have a “unique voice” that will be a perfect fit with the MTV audience. MTV and Par Classics are aiming for a 2006 release.

“Beneath” is directed by tyro helmer Dagen Merrill, who co-wrote the script with Kevin Burke. “Napoleon Dynamite” producers Sean Covel and Chris Wyatt produce along with MTV exec Troy Craig Poon.

Paramount Classics released “Mad Hot Ballroom.” MTV’s a producer on “The Longest Yard” and upcoming sci-fi thriller “Aeon Flux.”

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