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‘Sound’ shoot off as strike threat looms

Brosnan asks for another rewrite

MONTREAL — “A Sound of Thunder,” the Renny Harlin-directed sci-fi thriller starring Pierce Brosnan, has been postponed indefinitely as a result of time constraints associated with the possible actors and writers strike.

Thesp had asked for another rewrite of the script, penned by Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer, and the producers decided they didn’t have time to do the rewrite and shoot the pic before the July 1 SAG strike deadline.

“A Sound of Thunder” was set to begin lensing in Montreal on April 16, and the filmmakers had already opened a production office in the Canadian city.

Pic’s a Franchise Pictures production in association with Crusader Entertainment with Harlin and Franchise topper Elie Samaha producing.

Exec producers are Nicolas Clermont from Montreal-based Filmline Intl. and Howard Baldwin from Crusader. The line producer is Don Carmody. Franchise has world rights, with Warner Bros. handling domestic U.S. distribution.

The $80 million film is based on a Ray Bradbury’s 1952 short story about a big-game hunter who time-travels to go on a dinosaur safari. But the hunter accidentally kills a butterfly –an event that could change the course of history.

Clermont (“The Art of War”) said he is confident the pic will still be made but admitted Brosnan’s availability is an issue. Thesp is set to shoot the next James Bond installment this summer or whenever the strike ends.

“It’s one of those facts of life. You just have to deal with it,” said Clermont. “I’m confident this will eventually go. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. But it’s disappointing.”

The cancellation of “A Sound of Thunder” is quite a blow for the production scene in Montreal, a city that has now lost four major U.S. pics that were set to shoot here.

“K-19: The Widowmaker,” a submarine thriller starring Harrison Ford, moved its location from Montreal to Toronto and Halifax after producers couldn’t find adequate studio space in Montreal. “Stuart Little II” was slated to shoot partly in Montreal, along with Los Angeles and New York, but the filmmakers decided to lense only in the two American cities to save money.

Montreal also lost the much-anticipated “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” to be directed by Bryan Singer and star George Clooney and Johnny Depp. That pic fell apart when London-based Renaissance Films was unable to come up with the financing.

“The strike is having a big effect,” said Montreal film commissioner Andre Lafond. “If there’s no strike, we’ll get some of these films back before the end of the year. But if there is a strike, who knows?”

Lafond had hoped the city would have a busy spring of foreign shoots to make up for what will almost certainly be a slow summer thanks to the strike.

There is one major Hollywood pic currently shooting in Montreal, the Paramount thriller “The Sum of All Fears,” based on the Tom Clancy novel and toplining Ben Affleck.

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