Anderson tries sea legs for Touchstone

'Aquatic' pic explores search for mythical shark

Wes Anderson and Disney’s Touchstone Pictures, partners on “The Royal Tenenbaums,” are teaming up again for comedy/adventure “The Life Aquatic.”

Anderson, who wrote the script with Noah Baumbach, will direct “Tenenbaums” alums Bill Murray, Anjelica Huston and Owen Wilson in “Aquatic,” along with Jeff Goldblum, Peter Stormare and Bud Cort.

Pic, believed to be budgeted in the $20 million-$30 million range, is being produced by Anderson, Barry Mendel and Scott Rudin, who also teamed with the helmer on “Tenenbaums.”

Director-actor Wally Wolodarsky is also expected to take a role in pic.

The undersea world of “Aquatic” is being created in collaboration with director and stop-motion animator Henry Selick (“The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “James and the Giant Peach”). Story follows the misadventures of oceanographer Steve Zissou and his crew in deep-sea exploration, including the hunt for a mythical shark.

Shooting is skedded to start in September on location in Italy and at Cinecitta studios in Rome.

Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group prexy Nina Jacobson and VP of production Jeff Clifford are overseeing the project for the studio.

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