Ford set for sign of ‘Aquarius’

NEW YORK — After meeting several times with director Phil Alden Robinson, Harrison Ford is near a deal to star in the Bosnian drama “The Age of Aquarius,” sources said. Ford’s expected to accept a $20 million offer on the film, which Robinson will direct next February from his own script, sources said.

The movie was developed by Universal, but the horoscope for “Aquarius” is a split rights co-production deal be-tween DreamWorks and Universal. Neither Ford’s deal nor the rights arrangement has been finalized and none of the parties would comment.

In the scenario being discussed, DreamWorks would get domestic distribution, while Universal would handle for-eign territories. Finalizing the financing and landing Ford will put Robinson that much closer to making a big-budget film set in war-torn Yugoslavia, which has long been his desire.

After doing “Field of Dreams” and “Sneakers” at Universal, Robinson has developed his Bosnian project there for the past few years and will produce with Sean Daniel and Branko Lustig. Daniel’s partner in Alphaville, Jim Jacks, will exec produce. Universal acquired the bestselling “Zlata’s Diary” for Robinson and Robinson himself has done extensive field work on the subject.

He’s amalgamated that into a drama that casts Ford as a mercenary who ferries food and weapons to war-torn countries, selling them for profit. He falls in love with a Bosnian woman in a country plagued by political turmoil, murder and ethnic cleansing. The frontrunners for the female lead are “English Patient” co-stars Juliette Binoche and Kristin Scott Thomas, sources said.

After meeting with Robinson (Daily Variety, Feb. 27), Ford was moved enough to try fitting the drama into his tight schedule. The actor, about to open opposite Brad Pitt in the Alan Pakula-directed Columbia drama “The Devil’s Own,” recently completed “AFO” for Beacon Pictures and starts work in the Ivan Reitman comedy “Six Days, Seven Nights” for Caravan Pictures at Touchstone.

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