Starz drama based on Oscar-winning film

Dennis Hopper has signed to star in “Crash,” the 13-episode TV-series version of the Oscar-winning 2005 movie that will premiere on Starz in October.

A co-production of Starz and Lionsgate, “Crash” begins shooting this month in Los Angeles and Albuquerque under the aegis of Glen Mazzara (“The Shield”), who is writer, executive producer and showrunner, and his co-executive producers Frank Renzulli (“The Sopranos”) and Ted Mann (“Deadwood”). Director of the first episode is Sanford Bookstaver (“Bones”).

At a production cost of more than $2 million an episode, “Crash” is the biggest original scripted series ever set in motion by Starz. The vast majority of the network’s programming is theatrical movies, and “Crash” represents the first of what Starz expects will be a number of original series based on recognizable theatricals, said Stephan Shelanski, executive VP of programming for Starz Entertainment.

Starz Media’s Anchor Bay has U.S. rights to the series, including DVD. Lionsgate takes over foreign rights. Starz and Lionsgate will share the revenues from all of these domestic and international platforms.

Some of the actors who’ll join Hopper as regular cast members of the series are Clare Carey, Luiz Chavez, Ross McCall, Jocko Sims, Brian Tee and Arlene Tur.

Shelanski engineered the deal for the series with Kevin Beggs, president of programming and production for Lionsgate.

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