Phoenix pushes up ‘Elevator’ remake

Malle thriller redo to be titled 'Crime of Honor'

Phoenix Pictures has fast-tracked a remake of Louis Malle’s thriller “Elevator to the Gallows.” Leonard Goldberg, Neil Koenigsberg and helmer’s brother Vincent Malle are producing the pic.

“Elevator” (1957), Louis Malle’s directorial debut, which he also penned, concerns a woman whose plan to have her lover kill her husband goes awry when teens steal his getaway car, commit a murder of their own and pin it on the lover.

The new film, “Crime of Honor,” will be set in New York. Phoenix’s Mike Medavoy has long wanted to redo the film, which made an international star of Jeanne Moreau. The rights were controlled by Vincent Malle, who produced many of his brother’s films, and manager-producer Koenigsberg.

‘Angels’ in his corner

Then Medavoy got Goldberg involved. The television turned film producer has had a hot feature hand of late, producing “Charlie’s Angels” with Drew Barrymore and Nancy Juvonen, and taking a producer credit on “Double Jeopardy.” All the pieces began to come together when Goldberg brought in scribe Seth Pearlman, who wrote “Billy Two Sugars,” a New Line drama that has Antonio Banderas attached to star and Brett Ratner to direct.

“The thriller needed to be contemporized, but its idea of morality and what is moral behavior was still very relevant,” said Goldberg.

Pearlman amalgamated elements from scripts done for Koenigsberg and Vincent Malle by Pat Kelly and Mitch Glazer. He also incorporated much of Louis Malle’s original, and added flourishes of his own. Pearlman has just turned in the script, and Phoenix is looking to assign a director and cast, with a start date hinging on the outcome of Screen Actors Guild negotiations.

Goldberg is also working with Barrymore and Juvonen on the “Charlie’s Angels” sequel, being scripted by John August under the supervision of director McG.

“Depending on whether a strike happens, we should have the script in four to six weeks, (and are) planning to begin shooting in the spring of 2002,” said Goldberg. “We’ll take it to the Angels for their perusal, and if they like it, Sony can sit down with them and make a deal.”

‘Wonder’ what happens next

Goldberg is also working with producer Joel Silver on the Warner Bros. film version of the DC Comics superhero “Wonder Woman,” a priority project for that studio. Todd Alcott, whose credits include “Antz” and the Columbia film “Astro Boy,” is working on the script, with the studio eyeing Sandra Bullock to wear the star-spangled spandex. Goldberg had been chasing the project for years, once nearly closing a deal with former partner Aaron Spelling to make a series.

“We nearly had a deal, but they said we’ll do it without you,” he said. “Years later, I told Joel Silver that ‘Charlie’s Angels’ was going to be good and that everybody would be chasing films that empower women, and that the classic version of that was ‘Wonder Woman.’ He talked to (WB worldwide production prexy) Lorenzo di Bonaventura, and soon we had a story and Todd writing it.

“Sandy’s interested, and we’ve met with her. It all depends on the script and director, of course, but she hasn’t done anything this physical in a long time, and she’d like to. We’d love to have her.”