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D’Works spins ‘Planet’ into new orbit

De Luca nabs sci-fi pic from NL in turnaround

NEW YORK — DreamWorks has acquired remake rights to “Forbidden Planet,” the seminal 1956 science-fiction film that has drawn the interest of several top filmmakers.

The film was plucked out of turnaround from New Line by Michael De Luca, who is steering production at DreamWorks but who made the original “Forbidden” deal last year while president of production at New Line.

The film will be produced by Richard Saperstein, who was a senior New Line exec supervising the project before he left to become a producer under the Hidden Pictures banner. Saperstein will produce with Lindsay Dunlap, whose Ember Entertainment held the option on the material and who has been doggedly trying to get the film made for years.

Loosely based on Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” the film revolved around a space mission that lands on the Planet Altair-4 in the year 2020. The space travelers find that all is not well as they run into a doctor and his daughter, who are the sole survivors of a previous attempt to colonize the planet. Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis and Leslie Nielsen starred in the original.

The 1956 film, whose concepts of shuttle missions and robots were considered visionary and which have been widely copied in subsequent sci-fi films, has previously attracted the attention of such filmmakers as James Cameron and Frank Darabont, who have toyed with being involved in a remake.

The new pic would employ the use of cutting-edge special effects to enhance the story. DreamWorks will look first for a top writer to pen a screenplay.

Hidden Pictures was repped by attorney Roger Kass.

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