Pair pact for big ‘Journey’

New Line gets Brevig to helm Verne redo

Walden Media and New Line have joined forces to co-finance “Journey 3-D,” a modern take on the Jules Verne classic “Journey to the Center of the Earth.”

Eric Brevig, who won a Special Achievement Academy Award for his visual effects work on “Total Recall,” will make his feature directorial debut. D.V. DeVincentis (“High Fidelity”) has written the script.

Visual effects vet Charlotte Huggins is producing, and production will begin in April.

Story centers on a teenager and his scientist father who stumble onto a message hidden in an ancient artifact. Their attempt to solve the riddle leads them into a previously unseen world and the creatures that inhabit it.

The film will be shot in live action, but the otherworldly landscapes and creatures will be supplied by high-definition, photo-real 3-D technology. Brevig will use cameras specially developed for Walden’s large-format 3-D films, which include the James Cameron-directed “Ghosts of the Abyss” and “Aliens of the Deep.” Walden used the photo-real 3-D technology to bring creatures to life in the Andrew Adamson-directed “The Chronicles of Narnia,” to be released next month by Disney.

“In our never-ending push to get young people to read books, a central premise is to use the Verne book as a map,” said Walden Media CEO Cary Granat. “The scientist makes the discovery that Verne might have gone down to the center of the Earth himself, and that he hid clues in the text. The hope is that a lot of people will read the book to discover the clues.”

New Line’s Cale Boyter and Michael Disco oversee the project with Walden’s Alex Schwartz and Evan Turner.

“Journey 3-D” is the third project collaboration between Walden and the studio, as they’ve wrapped a Wil Shriner-directed adaptation of the Carl Hiaasen novel “Hoot” for release next spring. A Bob Dolman-directed adaptation of “How to Eat Fried Worms” is slated for a fall 2006 release.

Though he’s getting behind the camera for the first time, Brevig’s got extensive visual-effects experience, with a resume that includes “Men in Black,” “Pearl Harbor,” “Signs” and “The Abyss.”

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