'Counterfeiters' helmer eyes 'Demeter'


Stefan Ruzowitzky, the Austrian director behind Oscar-winning foreign film "The Counterfeiters," is in negotiations to helm period horror "The Last Voyage of the Demeter" for Phoenix Pictures.

"Demeter" was the name of the ship that transported Dracula from Transylvania to London in Bram Stoker's classic tale. In that novel, it washes up on the shores of England, tattered and broken, with one raving mad survivor.

Written a decade ago by Bragi Schut (writer of the upcoming Nicolas Cage horror movie "Season of the Witch"), places the voyage center stage in a tale that is reminiscent of the first movie in the "Alien" franchise, in which a crew is slaughtered one-by-one by a mysterious passenger.

The project has over the years attracted directors, with Robert Schwentke and most recently Marcus Nispel among those attached. Two hurdles have been the period setting and the need to film on the water. Phoenix assuaged some concerns regarding the former, having led the boxoffice the past two weeks with the 1950s thriller "Shutter Island."

Mike Medavoy, Arnold Messer and Bradley Fischer of Phoenix are producing.

"Demeter" would serve as the English-language debut for UTA-repped Ruzowitzky, who has been making German-language films since 1996's "Tempo."
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