Alba in talks to star in thriller

Lionsgate is picking up Cruise/Wagner-produced remake “The Eye” out of turnaround from Paramount and is negotiating with Jessica Alba to star and French helmers David Moreau and Xavier Palud to direct.

Pic will shoot this winter.

Recent genre successes make Lionsgate a natural fit for “The Eye,” a thriller about a cornea transplant recipient who sees disturbing images in the mirror that send her on a quest to find out what happened to the eye’s previous owner. Original was made in Hong Kong by Thai directing brothers Danny and Oxide Pang.

Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner persuaded Paramount to buy the remake rights in 2002 and got close to making it there with Renee Zellweger. When Zellweger dropped out, the project lost its momentum and the studio put it into turnaround.

News of the Lionsgate pickup comes as Cruise/Wagner’s deal nears its expiration at Par and speculation has the pair eyeing other studios.

Alba entered the picture after Cruise and Wagner engaged Lionsgate, which already has the actress under contract to star alongside Dane Cook and Dan Fogler in the comedy “Good Luck Chuck.”

Alba is in talks to make “The Eye” her next picture after the “Fantastic Four” sequel. Moreau and Palud, who last directed the French thriller “Ils,” will make “The Eye” their first U.S. picture.

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