Topliner De Niro is a ‘Godsend’

Kinnear, Romjin-Stamos also eye regeneration pic

Robert De Niro is in negotiations to topline Lions Gate’s thriller “Godsend,” directed by Nick Hamm.

Pic, scripted by Mark Bombeck, is the first title to be co-financed under the company’s arrangement with Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban’s 2929 Entertainment.

Greg Kinnear and Rebecca Romjin-Stamos are in negotiations to co-star. Thesps would play a married couple who turn to a pioneer in stem cell cloning and regeneration (De Niro) in order to bring their 8-year-old son back to life.

Pic is expected to start lensing in mid-November in Toronto, and a late 2003 release is planned.

“Godsend” was developed by Cathy Schulman while she was president of Artists Production Group; she segued to producer of its projects when she ankled the company (Daily Variety, Feb. 1).

Repped by ICM, Hamm most recently helmed “The Hole,” starring Thora Birch. Thriller will be distribbed domestically by Dimension Films.

Wagner and Cuban are exec producing “Godsend,” as is current APG chairman Mark Canton. APG’s Sean O’Keefe is also expected to produce in some capacity.

Lions Gate execs Michael Paseornek, Marc Butan and Michael Burns will oversee production for the studio, while 2929’s Steve Mitchell will co-produce.

Wagner and Cuban, who also own TV production outfit Rysher Entertainment, were co-founders of Broadcast.com, one of the first outlets to stream audio and video over the Internet. They are also the executive producers of the refashioned “Star Search,” which makes its debut this spring on CBS.

The CAA-repped De Niro and Kinnear most recently appeared, respectively, in Franchise Pictures “City by the Sea” and Good Machine/Propaganda release “Auto Focus.”

The WMA-repped Romjin-Stamos recently appeared in New Line’s “Simone,” opposite Al Pacino, and next appears in “X-Men 2” for Twentieth Century Fox.

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