Helmer Emmerich will track 'B.C.' man in pic

Roland Emmerich will next direct “10,000 B.C.” for Columbia Pictures.

Emmerich and composer Harald Kloser wrote the drama, which follows three stages in the development of primitive man.

“10,000″ was believed to be in line for — and still could receive — some financing from Germany’s troubled film fund VIP Medienfonds, which is being investigating by Teutonic tax authorities. Last week, authorities raided the homes and offices of top VIP execs, who could face criminal charges.

Pic is the helmer’s first project since Emmerich and partner Michael Wimer aligned their Centropolis shingle with the studio. Shooting will begin in February in Africa.

Emmerich last directed “The Day After Tomorrow.”

“10,000 B.C.” centers on a 21-year-old who lives among a primitive tribe that survives by hunting a mammoth each year as the herd migrates through the tribe’s homeland.

It’s the first project Emmerich will produce with Wimer, the director’s longtime agent at CAA, who joined Centropolis in April. Emmerich hatched the project and found a kinship with Kloser, his composer on “The Day After Tomorrow.” Kloser will compose the music, and exec produce with Tom Karnowski. Columbia execs Sam Dickerman and Rachel O’Connor will oversee the project. John Orloff is working on a new draft of the Emmerich/Kloser script.

The project is akin to Mel Gibson’s period drama “Apocalypto,” in that both films are set in an obscure period and will not be star-driven, but have tentpole aspirations. Emmerich, who’s looking for unknowns, will begin open casting sessions in late October.

While “Apocalypto” is being filmed in a Mayan dialect, the characters in “10,000 B.C.” will speak English.

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