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Lurie’s in the ‘Know’ for Escape

Thriller to become prod'n co.'s fourth project

NEW YORK — Rod Lurie will direct “Knowing,” an Escape Artists-hatched thriller that Columbia Pictures will distribute domestically.

The project, scripted by novelist Ryne Pearson, is expected to go into production in early 2002.

It will be produced by Escape Artists partners Steve Tisch, Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and David Alper and co-produced by Escape Artists senior veep Brian Morewitz and by Aaron Kaplan and Sean Perone, who manage Pearson and have a first-look deal at Escape Artists.

“Knowing” is a thriller centering on a 1958 time capsule that is unearthed accidentally. The chairman of the town’s historical society finds drawings made by 1958 tykes predicting the future. Amid the fantasy stuff is a chilling entry: One child predicted several horrible events that have come true. But there is one prediction that hasn’t yet occurred and which the man attempts to prevent.

Former film critic-author Lurie helmed “The Contender,” the DreamWorks-distributed drama that won Oscar nominations for Jeff Bridges and Joan Allen. He followed that with “The Last Castle,” the Robert Redford-James Gandolfini drama that DreamWorks preems Oct. 12. Lurie’s partner, Marc Frydman, comes aboard as exec producer.

Escape Artists has hit the ground running, as “Knowing” becomes its fourth project headed for an imminent start date at Sony. It follows the Ted Demme-directed “Nautica,” the Luis Mandoki-helmed “Need” and “Wedlocked,” which will star Meg Ryan.

Escape Artists co-greenlights its films with Sony, with the former raising budget capital through its relationship with foreign rights seller Summit Entertainment and through the five territories controlled by distributors that are equity partners: Constantin in Germany; Eagle Pictures, Italy; Momentum Media Ltd., U.K.; Sogepaq, Spain; and Egmont Entertainment, Scandinavia.

Pearson’s UTA-repped, while Lurie is repped by APA and attorney Peter Nelson.

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