Abbess cracks Universal’s ‘Code’

Australian director signs on to sci-fi thriller

Universal has tapped Shane Abbess to helm “Source Code,” a sci-fi thriller that Mark Gordon’s shingle is producing for the studio.

The studio project is a big step up for the Oz helmer, who made “Gabriel,” his first movie, for less than $200,000. Screen Gems picked up the gothic sci-fi thriller, which made $1.2 million in his native country and got him Stateside reps at Endeavor and Underground.

“Source Code,” a time continuum story, was written by Ben Ripley and once had Topher Grace to star. Regardless of the budget, which has yet to be set, it’s sure to trump Abbess’ “Gabriel” outlay, which he raised himself.

Abbess, 28, learned his craft on commercials before he co-wrote, produced and directed “Gabriel” last year.

Gordon and Lawrence Inglee are producing “Source Code.”

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