Bruce Willis is in final negotiations to star in “Ace in the Hole,” a con-vs.-con caper pic to be co-financed by Disney and Intermedia.
The $50 million-$60 million pic will be produced by Robert Newmyer and Jeffrey Silver’s Outlaw Prods. in conjunction with Willis and brother David Willis’ Flying Heart Films.
Intermedia toppers Guy East and Nigel Sinclair will exec-produce; and Outlaw prexy Scott Strauss and Jeff Graup also will receive producing credits on “Ace.”
Based on Richard D’Ovidio’s original screenplay, the pic follows Alex Logan, a brilliant professional con man, fresh out of prison, who is blackmailed into helping a ruthless Las Vegas casino boss evade an FBI murder investigation.
As part of recently negotiated deal, Disney will distribute “Ace” in North America, while Intermedia will handle the rest of the world.
Though a director is not yet attached, pic is scheduled to go before the cameras this fall. According to sources, Willis will receive his going rate for “Ace,” a payday likely to rest in the $20 million neighborhood.
Willis — who next can be seen in Spyglass’ “The Sixth Sense,” and later in Castle Rock’s “The Story of Us” — next lenses “The Whole Nine Yards” for director Jonathan Lynn and Franchise Pictures. Flying Heart also produces “Nine Yards,” the latest in a series of pics the “Die Hard” star has co-produced.
Later this summer, Disney is slated to release Flying Heart’s “Breakfast of Champions,” directed by Alan Rudolph and toplined by Willis.
The William Morris Agency brokered the deal on behalf of Willis and Flying Heart.
Outlaw, which has a first-look deal with Warner Bros., also has a “second-look,” co-production pact with foreign sales and production outfit Intermedia.
On Thursday, Intermedia also announced that it will handle worldwide distribution for the romantic comedy “Advice from a Caterpillar,” which premieres May 15 in Cannes.
Don Scardino directed the pic, which stars Andy Dick (“Newsradio”), Timothy Olyphant (“Go!”), Cynthia Nixon (“Sex in the City”) and Jon Tenney (“Fools Rush In”).
Douglas Carter Beane penned the screenplay from his own legit production.
“Caterpillar” was financed by Gotham-based Foundry Film Partners, which previously teamed with Intermedia on “Clay Pigeons” and “Company Man.”