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“The Lawnmower Man” director Brett Leonard will direct TriStar Pictures’ movie adaptation of Dean R. Koontz’s novel “Hideaway,” which is slated to be produced by Summers-Quaid Prods., sources said Tuesday.

“Hideaway” is the story of a battle between two men returned from the dead — one good and one evil.

“The Waterdance” screenwriter/co-director Neal Jimenez has agreed to deliver a rewrite of “Hideaway,” which was originally adapted for the screen by Andrew Kevin Walker.

Preemptive buy

Leonard’s deal to direct “Hideaway” brings the project one step closer to fruition, following a lengthy development period at TriStar. The studio preemptively purchased the movie rights to the novel in December 1991, about a month before it was published.

The pic is tentatively scheduled to begin production in the fall. A preliminary budget has not yet been set.

“Hideaway” will be produced by actor Dennis Quaid and producing partner Cathleen Summers, principals of Summers-Quaid Prods. The production company has a three-year, first-look term deal with TriStar Pictures.

Quaid was long considered a top candidate to star in “Hideaway” (Daily Variety, Dec. 18, 1991), but he has since committed to star opposite Kevin Costner in Warner Bros.’ “Wyatt Earp.”

Leonard has taken time since his 1992 release “Lawnmower Man” to tackle such projects as a rockvideo for Peter Gabriel and Iwerks Entertainment. “Hideaway” will be his next feature.

Representing Leonard in “Hideaway” negotiations were Creative Artists Agency’s Michael Wimer and manager Steve Friedman.