‘Victim’ nabs Zeta-Jones

Tamahori helming remake

Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, currently starring opposite Sean Connery in “Entrapment,” has committed to star in Edward R. Pressman Films Corp.’s “The Tenth Victim,” a romantic sci-fi thriller to be directed by Lee Tamahori (“Once Were Warriors”).

Stuart Hazeldine — who recently inked a deal to pen “The Masque of the Red Death” for Fox 2000 and director Alex Proyas — is penning the screenplay from a treatment by Matt Greenberg (“Mimic”).

“Victim” is a remake of a 1965 Italian film (“La Decima Vittima”) directed by Elio Petri and starring Ursula Andress and Marcello Mastroianni. Pressman acquired the film’s rights from original producer Carlo Ponti and Canal Plus Image.

Like the Italian version, “The Tenth Victim” is based on Robert Scheckley’s short story “The Seventh Victim,” a futuristic thriller about a society where violence is channeled into organized murder hunts. As one contestant closes in on 10 victims, she and a male contestant and chief rival end up falling in love and eventually join forces to battle the sadistic system. The male role has not been cast.

The pic will be produced by Pressman and Jeff Most, and exec produced by Alessandro Camon and Christian Halsey Solomon of Quadra Films, which will be handling international sales on the pic.

Pressman and Halsey Solomon will begin selling the pic in Cannes this weekend. While there is no domestic deal in place, according to sources, with Zeta-Jones and Tamahori on board, 20th Century Fox has expressed interest in handling the film stateside.

The fast-rising Zeta-Jones first gained worldwide attention starring opposite Antonio Banderas in Sony’s 1998 pic “The Mask of Zorro.” She next can be seen in the Jan De Bont-helmed “The Haunting” for DreamWorks.

Tamahori, whose credits include “Mulholland Falls” for MGM and “The Edge” for Fox, also is developing “Rockwood” for Imagine Entertainment/Universal.

Zeta-Jones and Tamahori both are repped by International Creative Management.