McTiernan nears ‘Crown’

Helmer to direct Brosnan in McQueen/Dunaway remake

John McTiernan is near a deal to direct Pierce Brosnan in the United Artists remake of “The Thomas Crown Affair,” the 1968 drama that starred Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway. Both McTiernan and Brosnan are committing to make the film their next effort.

Brosnan will play the bored property tycoon who masterminds a bank robbery and is pursued by a gorgeous insurance investigator, which leads to romantic sparks between them.

UA is looking for an A-list actress of the Julia Roberts caliber to play the female lead originated by Dunaway under director Norman Jewison.

The script, which has been contemporized, is by Peter Doyle, Kurt Wimmer and Leslie Dixon, and Beau St. Clair is producing with Brosnan.

United Artists president Lindsay Doran is looking to get the film in motion quickly. Brosnan will star before he begins work on the 19th installment of the James Bond series, which UA has pledged to have in theaters on Nov. 19, 1999. That means production on Brosnan’s third film as the British secret agent 007 would have to begin in the fall.

No director has yet been hired on the Bond film, which is being scripted by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade.

McTiernan, whose credits include “Die Hard,” recently wrapped the adaptation of the Michael Crichton novel about Vikings, “Eaters of the Dead,” and has long been attached to direct the Crichton novel “Air Frame” for Touchstone, for which Disney paid a record sum in the $10 million range.

Sources said that McTiernan is still attached to that project, but that it wasn’t yet ready to shoot, making him available to direct Brosnan first. McTiernan is repped by CAA.

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