TriStar develops full dance card for ’94-95

TriStar Pictures is quietly developing a full plate of prestige projects for production in 1994 and 1995, sources said Thursday.

With director Jonathan Demme’s “Philadelphia” headed to the theaters, sources said studio chairman Mike Medavoy, president Marc Platt and president of production Stacey Lassally have turned their sights toward filling out the 1994 and 1995 programs:

  • The studio has just closed a reported $ 1 million deal for the movie rights to Ludwig Bemelmans’ series of “Madeleine” children’s books. The studio and producer Allyn Stewart are reportedly in active negotiations with “Home Alone” director Chris Columbus to helm a movie about the little Paris school girl. Stewart will produce with Saul Cooper and Pancho Kohner. The property was once pursued by Steven Spielberg.

  • TriStar has opened up talks with director Paul Verhoeven to direct its potential big-budget “Starship Troopers,” which is based on the novel by Robert Heinlein. “RoboCop” screenwriter Edward Neumeier has adapted the novel for producer John Davidson. The project would follow Verhoeven’s work on the Arnold Schwarzenegger starrer “Crusade.”

  • After months of courting, TriStar has completed a deal with Sidney Poitier to direct and co-produce with Arthur Lee “The Golden 13.” Written by Steven Glantz and Caliope Brattlestreet, the project is about the first blacks trained to be officers in the U.S. Navy, the last integrated branch of the military.

The flurry of transactions follow reports of similar development deals with screenwriter David Williamson to adapt “Selling the War” for actor Dustin Hoffman’s Punch Prods., and Agnieszka Holland and Jean Yves Pitoun to adapt Nancy Taylor Rosenberg’s “Mitigating Circumstances” as a potential directing vehicle for Holland.

Producers on the studio lot said TriStar is pressing its advantage because the studio production team has solidified under president of production Lassally , under whose reign “Mary Reilly” was successfully assembled with director Stephen Frears and star Julia Roberts after years of setbacks. The project is skedded for release in 1994 or early 1995.

Pushing biggies

Beyond the development deals, TriStar executives are also pushing several biggies forward: An adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation Trilogy,” producer Steven Spielberg and cinematographer-turned-director Mikael Salomon’s “Zorro” and a revamped version of “Godzilla.”

TriStar is attempting to finalize a deal with International Creative Management chairman Jeff Berg to put Jean-Jacques Annaud at the helm of “Foundation Trilogy.”

Five alive

Beyond the development deals, TriStar has five movies motoring toward preproduction, including the possible Barbra Streisand starrer “Mirror Has Two Faces,” Brett Leonard’s “Hideaway,” the Denzel Washington starrer “Devil in a Blue Dress” with “One False Move” director Carl Franklin at the helm, “Mary Reilly” and an untitled movie from “Sleepless in Seattle” director Nora Ephron with Steve Martin attached.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Yoji Yamada-directed film is to open

    Tokyo Market: Shochiku Launches Horror, Comedy and Mystery Lineup

    Major Japanese studio, Shochiku has the honor of leading off next week’s Tokyo International Film Festival with its “Tora-san, Wish You Were Here.” The film is a revival of a beloved in-house drama franchise, directed by veteran Yoji Yamada, that is set as the event’s opening night gala presentation. Before that, the company has the [...]

  • The Truth

    Singapore Festival to Focus on Asian Excellence for 30th Edition

    For its 30th edition the Singapore International Film Festival has avoided programming novelty and instead focused on assembling excellence – mostly indie titles — from Asia and further afield. The festival, which previously announced local filmmaker Anthony Chen’s second feature “Wet Season” as its opening night gala presentation, announced the balance of its programming on [...]

  • Isabela Moner Dora the Explorer

    Film News Roundup: Isabela Merced Boards Jason Momoa's 'Sweet Girl' for Netflix

    In today’s film news roundup, Isabela Merced get cast opposite Jason Momoa, “Starbright” gets financing and AFM announces its speakers. CASTING Isabela Merced, formerly Isabela Moner, has come on board to portray the daughter of Jason Momoa in his upcoming revenge thriller “Sweet Girl” for Netflix. Momoa will play a devastated man who vows to [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Seeks to Throw Out Gender Pay Gap Lawsuit

    The Walt Disney Co. is seeking to throw out a lawsuit alleging that women employees are paid less than men, arguing that the suit is too sprawling and unwieldy to handle as a class action. Andrus Anderson LLP filed the suit in April, alleging that Disney’s hiring and pay practices have a discriminatory effect on [...]

  • Ford v Ferrari

    Christian Bale, Matt Damon to Campaign in Lead Actor Category for 'Ford v Ferrari'

    Christian Bale and Matt Damon will both campaign in the lead actor category for awards for their work in Fox’s upcoming “Ford v Ferrari,” Variety has learned. “Ford v Ferrari” follows an eccentric, determined team of American engineers and designers, led by automotive visionary Carroll Shelby (Damon) and his British driver, Ken Miles (Bale), who [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content