Anthony to ‘Alexander’

Thesp in talks for Ptolemy role

Anthony Hopkins is negotiating to star alongside Colin Farrell in Intermedia’s “Alexander.”

Hopkins, reteaming with his “Nixon” director Oliver Stone, will play the role of Ptolemy, the last surviving general in the army of Macedonian conqueror Alexander the Great who went on to become the Pharoah of Egypt. A younger actor will be cast to play Ptolemy in battle scenes.

Intermedia is in an epic race with the rival Baz Luhrmann-Leonardo DiCaprio project at Universal and DreamWorks, produced by Dino De Laurentiis. In a surprise move, Intermedia has established Morocco as its primary shooting location, the locale Luhrmann told Daily Variety he had abandoned for his home turf Australia because he couldn’t get insurance for his actors.

Whether it was because of the end of the war in Iraq or Stone’s persistence, the Intermedia-financed film figures to take advantage of all the amenities that had been offered to its rival.

Part of the Stone film will be shot in London.

Warner Bros.’ enlistment as domestic distributor for Stone’s film gave the pic an early lead over its rival. Stone has already done some shooting near the Himalayas, and principal photography is on course to begin in July. Filming will stop for a month in August and resume in September. If Stone meets that timetable, it seems unlikely that Luhrmann can make his film as quickly, since DiCaprio is expected to first star for Martin Scorsese in the IEG-backed Howard Hughes pic “The Aviator,” which teams Miramax and WB on domestic territories.

“Alexander” will be produced by Moritz Borman, Jon Kilik, Iain Smith and Thomas Schuely.

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