Phoenix heads for ‘Mile Zero’

Van Looy directs horror thriller

CANNES — After preeming “Zodiac” for an international aud in Cannes, Phoenix Pictures announced plans for a female-driven horror thriller called “Mile Zero.”

Phoenix’s Mike Medavoy, Arnold Messer and Brad Fischer will produce the mid-budget pic along with “Zodiac” producer James Vanderbilt. The director is Erik van Looy (“The Memory of a Killer”) and based on an original script by Holly Brix.

Cast is still being determined, but Phoenix is aiming to start shooting by the end of 2007. Grosvenor Park is financing and Nicolas Chartier’s foreign sales operation Voltage Pictures will handle the international rights.

Pic’s title refers to the setting in northern Alaska of an oil drilling station where a grisly massacre occurred 20-some years ago. A woman arrives at the station when it reopens in present day, determined to dispel the suspicion that her mother committed the original murders. But when crew members mysteriously start disappearing, a supernatural element is revealed.

Launched in 2005 as a partnership between Nicolas Chartier and producer Dean Devlin, Voltage Pictures is co-financing its first in-house production, the Kathryn Bigelow Iraqi-set psychological actioner “The Hurt Locker,” which is lensing shortly after Cannes.

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