‘Geisha’ may reunite scribe, Spielberg

Swicord close to boarding project

This article was updated on Feb. 17, 2004.

Robin Swicord is in negotiations to pen a new script for “Memoirs of a Geisha.” Rob Marshall is helming the Columbia and DreamWorks co-production.

Red Wagon’s Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher are producing.

Deal would pair Swicord with Steven Spielberg, who is exec producing “Geisha,” for a second time. Last May, he personally made a seven-figure deal for Swicord’s spec script “The Rivals.” That pic follows the dueling 19th century stage divas Sarah Bernhardt and Eleonora Duse.

Swicord’s other credits include “Little Women” and “Matilda,” both for Columbia, and “Practical Magic” at Warner Bros.

With a director and screenwriter in place, “Geisha” is now moving ahead after years of delay and complications.

Columbia Pictures, on behalf of producer Doug Wick, first acquired rights to adapt Arthur Golden’s bestselling novel about a 20th century geisha in 1997.

Marshall settled on the project as his follow-up to “Chicago” late last year, but before he could come aboard, he had to settle an option Miramax held on him to direct his next pic for them. Miramax allowed Marshall to direct the pic in exchange for distrib rights in the U.K.

When Spielberg was developing “Geisha,” scribes Ron Bass and Akiva Goldsman did drafts of the script.

Swicord is repped by UTA.

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