Motion Picture Corp. of America president Brad Krevoy confirmed Thursday that the company has greenlighted production of “Desperate Trail,” an independently produced western.

To begin lensing in Santa Fe next month, “Desperate Trail” will star Sam Elliot and Lara Flynn Boyle and will feature cameos from vet western stars like James Coburn and Ben Johnson.

Springtime release

“We’re scheduling a theatrical release this spring,” said Krevoy. Producers of the pic are Krevoy, Steven Stabler and Chad Omen.

“Trail,” written and directed by Paul Pesce, is budgeted at $ 4 million, one of the biggest movies in MPCA’s history. That helps underscore the general pressure on American independents to ratchet up on the size of their productions.

MPCA is making a healthy showing here, with interest in “Trail” following the company’s recent sale of all worldwide rights for “Threesome” to TriStar Pictures.

The Stephen Baldwin, Josh Charles and Lara Flynn Boyle starrer was written and directed by Andy Fleming.

Key to the allure of “Desperate Trail” has been the interest by distributors in handling an Elliot western.

The actor has proven his viability in the genre in such work as “The Sacketts” and Turner Network Television’s recent adaptation of veteran western novelist Louis L’Amour’s “Connaugher”; the actor is also part of the coming studio ensemble piece “Tombstone.”

Domestically, “Desperate Trail” has already touched off some jockeying. Preliminary discussions are reportedly under way with Trimark Pictures, Turner Pictures and Miramax Pictures.