Woo eyes Par ‘Paycheck’

Pic based on short story by sci-fi author Dick

Paramount Pictures is banking on John Woo to direct “Paycheck.”

The helmer is in negotiations to direct the futuristic tale of a man who can’t remember what he has done for the past two years. Based on a short story by prolific sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick, the protagonist must seek clues to his whereabouts using common objects such as a ticket stub and bus token to uncover a government secret.

Woo also is attached to direct “The Divide” at Disney. Helmer, repped by Endeavor, spent two decades in the Hong Kong film industry before making his U.S. debut with “Hard Target” in 1992. Since then, he’s helmed “Face/Off,” “Mission: Impossible II,” “Windtalkers” and “Broken Arrow.”

Brett Ratner had been in talks to direct “Paycheck” before committing to “Superman”; Kathryn Bigelow also had considered helming the project.

The script for “Paycheck” has been adapted by Dean Georgaris. Producers are John A. Davis, Michael Hackett and David Solomon.

“Paycheck” was originally published in 1953. Film adaptations of Dick’s short stories have included “Minority Report,” “Total Recall” and “Blade Runner,” released shortly after Dick died.

Before its development at Par, “Paycheck” was set up at Roger Birnbaum’s former Caravan Pictures. Caravan and Touchstone optioned the film rights to the short story in 1996.

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