Jackman, Bale eye roles in 'Prestige' pic

Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale are in negotiations to star in helmer Christopher Nolan’s thriller “The Prestige” for Touchstone Pictures and Warner Bros.

“Batman Begins” helmer Nolan has committed to make the long-gestating pic as his next film (Daily Variety, April 17, 2003). Shooting is likely to start in January.

Story, which begins in 1878, follows the rivalry between two stage magicians who battle one another for trade secrets. The rivalry turns them both into murderers. Jonathan Nolan adapted the screenplay from the novel by Christopher Priest.

Both Nolans have been working together on the script in recent months.

Christopher Nolan is producing, along with his wife, Emma Thomas, and Ray Gun Productions’ Aaron Ryder.

Newmarket Films optioned the book and developed the script. Newmarket’s Chris Ball and William Tyrer are executive producers.

Kristen Burr oversees for Disney.

Mouse has domestic rights on the pic and is overseeing development and production. Warner Bros. has international rights.

Jackman plans to make “The Prestige” his next movie after he finishes shooting “X3,” the third installment of the “X-Men” franchise. Jackman recently completed the Darren Aronofsky-directed “The Fountain” and Woody Allen’s untitled new film.

Bale, who starred for Nolan as the Caped Crusader in “Batman Begins,” will next be seen in the Terrence Malick-directed “The New World” and the David Ayer-helmed “Harsh Times.” He is now in Thailand shooting “Rescue Dawn” for director Werner Herzog.

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