Trio heeds ‘Signs’

Marshall, Kennedy, Mercer join Shyamalan pic

Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy and Sam Mercer, three of the producers of M. Night Shyamalan’s 1999 hit “The Sixth Sense,” have reteamed with the writer-director to produce “Signs” for the Walt Disney Co.

Kennedy will exec produce, with Marshall, Mercer and Shyamalan serving as producers.

Mel Gibson is set to star in the pic (Daily Variety, May 21), with Mark Ruffalo (“You Can Count on Me”) to co-star. Story is a supernatural thriller focusing on the sudden appearance of mysterious crop circles on a family farm in Bucks County, Pa. Pic is slated for a 2002 release via Touchstone Pictures.

Superior shepherds

“With Kathy, Frank and Sam, we’ve got three extremely gifted producers shepherding this film,” said Dick Cook, chairman of the Walt Disney Motion Picture Group.

Walt Disney Motion Picture Group prexy Nina Jacobson said, “The experience Kathy, Frank and Sam bring from such films as ‘Back to the Future,’ ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘Congo’ is an indispensable asset for us.”

Wealth of experience

Together, Kennedy and Marshall have produced or executive produced nearly 40 films, most recently “Snow Falling on Cedars” and “A Map of the World.” Separately, Kennedy has produced or executive produced such films as the “Jurassic Park” series, “Twister” and “A.I. Artificial Intelligence.” Mercer’s producing credits include “Congo,” “The Relic,” “Mission to Mars” and Shyamalan’s “Unbreakable.”

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