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Writer/director Kevin Jarre has been replaced by George Cosmatos as helmer on Cinergi’s “Tombstone,” according to a Walt Disney Co. spokeswoman. The $ 20 million western saga starring Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer began principal photography May 17 and Jarre was reportedly relieved of directing duties last Friday.

The film, rumored to be behind sked, is a Buena Vista release in the U.S. and was to be Jarre’s first directing effort. Developed at Universal, the project had gone into turnaround earlier this year partly because of his determination to direct the original screenplay. Another factor in its switch to Cinergi had been Warner Bros.’ competing “Wyatt Earp,” which films next month.

Efforts to reach Jarre, the film’s producers or Cinergi and Disney exex involved with “Tombstone” over the weekend failed to elicit further details. However, a source on location verified Cosmatos’ arrival. It was unclear if the change would result in any shooting delays. Cosmatos’ previous helming credits include “Rambo: First Blood, Part II” and “Cobra.”