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Lichtenstein to direct 3-D action pic

Karl Urban to star in 'Relentless'

LONDON — Demian Lichtenstein is set to direct 3-D action feature “Relentless” for Baldwin Entertainment, with London-based Velvet Octopus handling international sales.

The $25 million movie will star Kiwi actor Karl Urban. It will shoot this September in Puerto Rico, produced by Eric Mitchell.

It’s the story of four extreme sports professionals who survive a plane crash in the Amazon jungle, and must use all their survival instincts as they are hunted by a group of homicidal natives.

Lichtenstein, best known for directing “3000 Miles to Graceland,” has been shadowing James Cameron on “Avatar,” and has been trained in 3-D techniques by James Mainard and Phil McNally of DreamWorks.

“I am fascinated with the new 3-D technology and know that this script is a perfect match to take advantage of the unlimited potential of what 3-D can do,” Lichtenstein commented. “After being mentored by James Cameron on the set of his new 3-D film ‘Avatar,’ I knew that 3-D movies are no longer just a fad. It is the future of filmmaking.”

Velvet Octopus, launched two years ago by Simon Crowe, is in post-production on Gabor Csupo’s “The Secret of Moonacre,” which has its world premiere with the U.K. release via Warner this August.

It is set to start shooting “Veronika Decides to Die” in May. Based on the Paulo Coehlo book, it’s directed by Emily Young and stars Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Also shooting is “Legion,” an action horror pic directed by Scott Stewart, for which Sony has picked up worldwide rights.

Velvet Octopus has a five-pic deal with producer Ash Shah, which includes two more 3-D projects, both CGI animated — “Outback,” the story of a white koala bear, and “The Legend of Spyro,” a spin-off from the best-selling video game.

Crowe is also putting together “David Copperfield” for director Peter Howitt to shoot this fall, with a cast including Rowan Atkinson, Simon Pegg, Julie Walters, Dominic Cooper and Colin Firth.

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