‘Nautica’ finds a skipper

Demme to delve into thriller on the high seas

Ted Demme (“Blow”) has been tapped to helm suspenser “Nautica” for David Alper, Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch’s Escape Artists.

A character-driven thriller, “Nautica” centers on three people yachting to the Bahamas who find themselves embroiled in skullduggery. The tale is told from the point of view of each character.

Escape Artists originally acquired the spec script in a mid-six-figure deal from scribe Richard McBrien (Daily Variety, March 22).

Will Davies is set to produce the pic with Escape Artists’ Alper, Black, Blumenthal and Tisch as well as Demme’s Spanky Pictures.

Sony has signed on as the pic’s domestic distributor, with exec production veep Matt Tolmach overseeing the project.

An independently financed film production company, Escape Artists has a first-look deal to distribute its pics domestically via Columbia and internationally via Summit Entertainment.

Aside from “Nautica,” Escape Artists’ slate includes the psychological thriller “Need,” with Luis Mandoki attached to direct; “Wedlock,” a black comedy with Meg Ryan attached; and “Knowing,” a supernatural thriller that’s currently out to directors.

Demme, repped by UTA and AMG, is working on a docu with Richard LaGravenese and IFC on American filmmaking in the 1970s.

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