Cage’s Saturn links to ‘Chain’

Drama to mark Rice's helming bow

Nicolas Cage’s Saturn Films has optioned tyro scribes Greg Small and Richard Blaney’s spec script “Chain.”

John Rice will make his directorial debut with the pic, which will be produced by Cage and Jeff Levine. Exec producers are Paul Brooks and Norm Golightly.

The project was brought to Saturn by Golightly, the company’s veep of creative affairs.

The script is described as an edgy drama set in contemporary America, but in the vein of Clint Eastwood’s “High Plains Drifter.”

Helmer Rice co-wrote “Windtalkers” with Joe Batteer. That pic will be directed by John Woo and produced by Woo, Terence Chang, Alison Rosenzweig and Tracie Graham. (Cage is in talks to star in that film). Rice and Batteer also co-wrote “Blown Away.”

Small and Blaney’s deal was negotiated by Steven Espinoza of Greenberg, Glusker, Fields, Claman, Machtinger. They are managed by Alison Rosenzweig and Tracie Graham.

Rice’s pact was negotiated by Sandra Lucchesi at the Gersh Agency.