Group to finance, produce Angelina Jolie starrer

In what becomes the first project since Graham King’s GK Films made a three-year, multipic output deal with Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group, GK Films will finance and produce “The Tourist,” the Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck-directed thriller that will star Angelina Jolie and Sam Worthington.

Sony Pictures Entertainment will release the film. Production begins in February.

King emerged with the film that had drawn interest from three other studios.

King’s GK Films will produce with Spyglass, which developed the remake of the 2005 French thriller “Anthony Zimmer.”

King will produce the picture with Tim Headington, Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum and Jonathan Glickman. Pic was originally scripted by Julian Fellowes, with rewrites by Christopher McQuarrie and Jeffrey Nachmanoff.

Deal gives Sony Pictures Entertainment two films in a row with Jolie, who most recently completed the Phillip Noyce-directed thriller “Salt.”

Deal ends a long, twisting road for a picture that, like “Salt,” was once built around Tom Cruise. Cruise once planned to star with Charlize Theron for director Bharat Nalluri, but that plan went south when Cruise instead committed to team with Cameron Diaz on the James Mangold-directed “Knight and Day” for Fox.

Jolie’s interest recently kick-started the project, and she sparked to working with von Donnersmarck, whose last film, “The Lives of Others” (2006), won the foreign-language film Oscar.

GK Films chief operating officer Bahman Naraghi made the deal with Spyglass.

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