Inside Move: Whither Wicker?

Low-budget thriller begets dueling projects

Who’ll strike the first match? Only the Wicker Man knows.

Nicholas Cage and Christopher Lee are developing dueling remakes of Robin Hardy’s creepy low-budget 1973 thriller “The Wicker Man.”

Once dubbed the “Citizen Kane” of horror, pic follows a Scottish policeman on a remote island investigating a child’s disappearance in a pagan community where human sacrifice is still practiced.

Lee, who starred in the original, is working with director Hardy to develop a new version set in Scotland, called “The Riding of the Laddie.” Duo hopes to recruit Lee’s “The Lord of the Rings” co-star Sean Austin as well as Vanessa Redgrave. They have a script and have scouted locations.

But Universal owns the title, and it’s putting major firepower behind it. Cage is set to star for director Neil LaBute. The actor will produce with his Saturn Films partner Norm Golightly and Joanne Sellar. LaBute is adapting a version set in the contempo U.S.

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