Cinergi Nabs ‘Nixon’

Filmmaker Oliver Stone and producer Arnon Milchan are in the process of dissolving their overall deal, but sources said the two will still be in business on certain pre-existing projects.

But “Nixon,” originally planned as the first project for Stone and Milchan’s Illusion Entertainment, will now be financed by Cinergi Prods, with the Walt Disney Co.’s backing.

The biopic, with Anthony Hopkins as Richard M. Nixon and Stone at the helm, will be made with a budget of $42 million, of which $12 million is expected to be shouldered by Disney.

Sources say the situation between Stone and Milchan is unresolved and both sides are still negotiating the separation.

Primary contenders mentioned as possibilities to hook up with Stone in an overall deal include Turner Pictures and 20th Century Fox. The latter already has a “Planet of the Apes” remake in development with the filmmaker.

Milchan’s New Regency and Stone have worked together since 1991 in a deal that had New Regency paying overhead, discretionary funds and fees for Stone.

But a conflict over “Nixon” precipitated a break-up in the alliance. “Nixon” will now be produced by Stone’s Ixtlan Prods, and Cinergi. The project, which Stone will produce and direct, will go before the cameras May 1 in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.

Those mentioned as possibilities to join the picture are John Turturro as Henry Kissinger, Joan Allen as Pat Nixon, James Woods as H.R. Haldeman, Bob Hoskins as J. Edgar Hoover and Henry Rollins as G. Gordon Liddy. Dan Aykroyd and Peter O’Toole also have been mentioned to join the cast.

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