Miramax pays for ‘Hostage’

Pic being sold internationally by Syndicate

Miramax has acquired North American distribution rights to the Bruce Willis thriller “Hostage,” financed by Bob Yari’s Stratus Film Co.

Now shooting in Los Angeles, pic was financed by Stratus, which produced with Equity Pictures and with Willis and Arnold Rifkin’s production shingle Cheyenne Enterprises.

French helmer Florent Siri (“The Nest”) makes his English-language debut on the adaptation of Robert Crais’ novel, scripted by the author.

Cheyenne partners Rifkin and Willis produce with Stratus’ Yari and Mark Gordon. Hawk Koch and David Wally share exec producing credits.

Pic also stars Kevin Pollack, Ben Foster, Jonathan Tucker, Serena Scott Thomas, Marshall Allman, Michelle Horn and Jimmy Bennett.

Willis plays an LAPD hostage negotiator who withdraws to the countryside after a bloody standoff to become chief of a two-man police department. Instead of achieving a sense of peace in the small town, he must call upon his negotiating skills again in order to save his kidnapped wife and daughter.

Pic is being sold internationally by Yari’s foreign sales shingle Syndicate Films Intl.

“Having the opportunity to continue our relationship with Bruce Willis, which began with ‘Pulp Fiction,’ is something that we didn’t have to think twice about,” Miramax chairman Harvey Weinstein said.

“After seeing 40 minutes of footage, Harvey showed the same enthusiasm we feel for the film and we closed a deal within 72 hours,” Yari added.

Senior VP of acquisitions Matt Brodlie brought the project into Miramax. Deal was brokered by Miramax Intl. exec VP Jere Hausfater, senior VP of acquisitions and business affairs David Miercort and Brodlie with Stratus’ chief operating officer and general counsel Neil Sacker.

Cheyenne also produced Willis starrer “The Whole Ten Yards” with Franchise Pictures. Warner will release that pic on Friday.

Shingle is also in pre-production on “Lady Luck,” being directed by Donald Petrie for New Regency Pictures.

Stratus’ “Laws of Attraction,” starring Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore, will be released April 30 by New Line.

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