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Col clocks ‘Tick-Tock’

Filmmakers 'to take a close look at storyline elements'

“Tick-Tock” will tick a little longer.

Columbia Pictures production execs have pushed back the production start date of the Jennifer Lopez starrer, fearing a negative public reaction to its terrorist-driven plot.

Pic had been slated to begin lensing in December, but has been reskedded for June 2002. Its release date remains unclear.

Studio suits were understandably struggling to revamp the pic’s storyline after airliners hijacked by terrorists last week crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

“We still intend to make the movie,” said a Sony spokeswoman, “but we are going to take a close look at the storyline elements.”

Penned by the writing team of Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry, the “Tick-Tock” script was unusual in that it was written to be shot in a frenetic “real-time” pace.

Acquired by Sony in a seven-figure spec buy almost a year ago (Daily Variety, Sept. 20, 2000), tale concerns an amnesiac who wakes up in FBI custody as the prime suspect in a series of bombings in Los Angeles. The suspect is then hustled about the city by a young FBI agent on a desperate search to find and disarm the remaining bombs. All the while, the suspect is trying to recover his memory enough to determine who, or whether he, actually planted the explosives.

Steve Norrington (“Blade”) will helm the pic; Danny Boyle (“Trainspotting”) ankled the project over creative differences.

“Tick-Tock” is being produced by Gavin Polone, a manager at Hofflund/Polone and also the producer of Col’s upcoming suspenser “The Panic Room.”

Calls to Norrington’s and Lopez’s reps at ICM were referred to Sony, which said through a spokeswoman that it expected the two would remain attached.

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