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‘Deep’ dive for WB, Roadshow

2nd film under new co-production deal

Helmer Renny Harlin’s big-budget, underwater actioner “Deep Blue Sea” will be the second film to go under Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow’s new co-production deal, the studio confirmed Thursday.

Pic is set to begin shooting on August 3 at the Fox Baja Studios in Mexico.

Story is about a scientist who, through genetic engineering, produces sharks with the intelligence of dolphins but with the ferocity of their own species.

Producers are Alan Riche and Tony Ludwig through their Riche-Ludwig Prods. and “Lost in Space” scribe and producer Akiva Goldsman.

Wayne and Donna Powers have re-written Duncan Kennedy and John Zinman’s original spec script.

Warner and Village Roadshow united last year under former WB prexy of production Bruce Berman. The five-year production and distribution partnership calls for the companies to make four to six pics a year, with a targeted total of around 20 for the five-year period.

WB will have worldwide distribution rights to all the films except in Australia and New Zealand, where they will be handled by Village Roadshow.

Prior to announcing their partnership, WB and Village had agreed to co-produce the sci-fi thriller “Matrix,” starring Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne. Pic, which will shoot in Australia, became the first title to be financed under the agreement.

Village Roadshow has distributed WB pics in Australia and New Zealand for 25 years. The two companies are also partners in Australian theme parks and exhibition ventures in Australia, the U.K., Germany, Italy and Taiwan.

In March, WB and Village Roadshow optioned an untitled thriller pitch for their deal from scribe Michael Petrone. Mark Canton’s WB-based Canton Co. is set to produce.