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Deal makes ‘Sense’

'Sixth' helmer inks with Disney in deal

NEW YORK — M. Night Shyamalan, writer-director of “The Sixth Sense,” is near a first-look deal with Disney.

For the Mouse House, the deal firms up a growing relationship with one of the hottest directors in town. Shyamalan’s “Sixth Sense” has already passed $250 million in domestic B.O., the second highest grossing film of 1999, behind “Star Wars: Episode One — The Phantom Menace.” “Sixth Sense” recently overtook “Jaws” to become the 12th highest grossing film of all time.

The studio bought “Sixth Sense” as a spec script for $3 million, and Shyamalan gave the Mouse first crack at his follow-up project, “Unbreakable.” Disney responded by breaking the spec script record with a $5 million buy, plus another $5 million for Shyamalan to direct. Filming begins in April with the “Die Hard With a Vengeance” tandem of Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson set to star.

Blinding Edge Pictures will be based in Shyamalan’s home town, Philadelphia. Like “Sense,” the Blinding Edge Pictures’ name plays true to Shyamalan’s spiritual side. He said he chose the name to describe “going towards a light … an edge, where people normally stop, but beyond there’s a beautiful thing.”

Shyamalan is repped by UTA.

(Michael Fleming in New York contributed to this report.)

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