WB, Singer to lift ‘Excalibur’

Duo ready remake of Boorman film

Warner Bros. has closed a deal to remake the 1981 John Boorman-directed “Excalibur,” with Bryan Singer producing and developing the picture as a potential directing vehicle.

The deal comes as Singer gets serious about making the New Line-Legendary co-production “Jack the Giant Killer” his next directing effort.

WB and Legendary Pictures have labored for months to pull together the rights to the film, which Singer will produce with Julie Yorn. Also a producer is Polly Johnsen — who was Polly Cohen when she was the WB exec who presided over the Singer-directed WB/Legendary collaboration “Superman Returns.”

Inspired by Thomas Malory’s 15th century work, and scripted by Rospo Pallenberg and Boorman, “Excalibur” explores the myth of King Arthur, complete with the Knights of the Round Table, Merlin the wizard and the quest for the Holy Grail to save Arthur’s life. The original picture broke such talent as Helen Mirren (who played the evil Morgana), Liam Neeson (Sir Gawain), Gabriel Byrne, Patrick Stewart and Ciaran Hinds.

Singer hasn’t set a writer yet.

Matt Reilly is overseeing for WB, Erik Olsen for the Yorn shingle, and Singer’s former partner Alex Garcia is overseeing for Legendary Prods.

Singer recently signed on to develop to direct and produce “Battlestar Galactica” at Universal; he’d been eyeing that project since he originally made a deal to godfather a series revival in 2001. At the same time, Singer has been flirting with directing “X-Men: First Class,” a 20th Century Fox spinoff that got a first script draft by “The OC” creator Josh Schwartz.

It looks like his next directing assignment might well be “Jack the Giant Killer,” a riff on the Jack and the Beanstalk legend that was developed by New Line with scripters Darren Lemke and Mark Bomback and producer Neal Moritz. The story revolves around a young farmer who leads an expedition into the land of the giants to recover a kidnapped princess.

Singer is repped by WME.

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