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Sarkissian ‘Rushes’ to NL

Producer inks two-year, first-look deal

Producer Arthur Sarkissian has signed a two-year, first-look deal with New Line.

“Arthur introduced us to ‘Rush Hour,’ a project that turned into the biggest movie in New Line’s history,” said Jay Stern, New Line’s senior VP of production. “It only makes sense for us to reward him with this kind of deal.”

Sarkissian said he decided to go with New Line because “they did such an incredible job with ‘Rush Hour.’ I didn’t want to be anywhere else.”

Sarkissian’s first project under the new arrangement will be the “Rush Hour” sequel, which is expected to lense this fall in Hong Kong and other locales.

Director Brett Ratner has been signed and Jeff Nathanson is writing the screenplay (in which the heroes are chasing Chinese crooks). “Rush” stars Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker are expected to sign on — “hopefully,” said Sarkissian. “I say that in case there’s a giant earthquake.”

Sarkissian’s other projects include “Seven Day Soldiers,” which he’s producing with Arnold and Anne Kopelson for 20th Century Fox. The tale of three investment bankers who decide to rob a bank and learn military tactics will be penned by Corey Mandel.

Also in development are “Family Honor,” a dark comedy about two brothers who learn their FBI agent father was really a mob hitman; “Queen of the Island,” about two thieves who rob Tiffany’s; “Two Lucky People,” a love story based on Tony Kendrick’s novel about a couple who meet in their doctor’s office; “A Fare Chance,” the story of man given a second chance, a la “It’s a Wonderful Life”; and “Switchhitter,” about twin brothers, one a major league baseball player, the other the gay owner of a San Francisco coffee shop.

Sarkissian is also working on the remakes of two French films, an untitled action film to be directed by Martin Campbell and “You Must Remember This,” a love story he’s producing with Martin Scorsese and Barbara DeFina to be directed by Martha Coolidge.