New 'Noon' on the clock at American Film Market

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Remake rights to the 1952 classic Western "High Noon," starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly, were acquired Monday at AFM by producer Mark Headley, actor Christopher Mitchum and their business partner, Toni Covington.

Rights were secured from actress Karen Sharp Kramer, wife of the late Stanley Kramer, producer of the iconic original about a town marshal forced to face a gang of killers by himself.

The newly formed Los Angeles-based High Noon Prods. is seeking a director and a star to play the lead and hopes to begin shooting early next year with a target budget of about $20 million, Headley said.

Mitchum, son of actor Robert Mitchum, worked on the Westerns "The Last Hard Men" with Charlton Heston and James Coburn in 1976 and "Rio Lobo" with John Wayne in 1970. He noted that he had wanted to remake "High Noon" for years.

Kramer confirmed the deal but declined to reveal its terms.

The original "High Noon" was written by John Cunningham and Carl Foreman and directed by Fred Zinnemann; it was based on pulp short story, "The Tin Star."
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