Interscope, Polygram OK ‘Dreams’ for $65 mil

NEW YORK — Polygram and Interscope have given the green light for the Robin Williams-led romancer “What Dreams May Come” for New Zealand director Vincent Ward.

The visual effects-laden project, budgeted between $65 and 70 million, is the most ambitious project the companies have done together. It’s set to begin lensing in mid-June.

The pace of the project picked up after the comedy “Don Quixote” was put in turnaround by Phoenix Picturesand TriStar Pictures.

Williams shifts gears

Williams, who is currently shooting “Flubber” for Disney, was set to next star in “Quixote.” The actor will now move on to “Dreams,” which is based on the book by Richard Matheson about a man who dies but cannot come to terms with the fact that he must leave his beloved wife. The role of the wife is being cast.

Ron Bass, who adapted the book, will exec produce, along with Interscope topper Ted Field, Scott Kroopf and Erica Huggins.

The film is produced in association with Studio City-based Metafilmics, which is headed by producers Stephen Simon and Barnet Bain.

Ward, who has a first-look deal with Interscope, wrote and directed Miramax’s “Map of the Human Heart.”

A lengthy wait

Simon has owned the underlying rights to the Matheson novel for 18 years.

“It was very much on the back burner,” Simon told Daily Variety, “but forming my partnership with Barnet and getting Bass and Ward aboard really made this project come together.”

“Dreams” was previously set up at MGM and, prior to that, at 20th Century Fox. MGM put the project in turnaround in January 1996, but Interscope’s Huggins brought it to the attention of Kroopf and Field, who then picked it up.

Simon previously developed and exec produced “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” for Interscope (under his former name, Stephen Deutsch).

Visual effects are being spearheaded by Lennox, Massachusetts-based Mass Illusions.

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