Cannes 2012: Liam Neeson to Star in Long-Awaited 'A Walk Among Tombstones'

Liam Neeson Headshot 2011
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The film, based on the Matthew Scudder book series, will be the first title financed and produced under a new three-year deal struck between Exclusive Media and Cross Creek Pictures.

CANNES -- The long-gestating A Walk Among Tombstones is finally a go after the film snagged Liam Neeson as the lead and Scott Frank for the director's seat.

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Exclusive Media and Cross Creek Pictures revealed the news Thursday when announcing they have struck a broad three-year development, 50-50 financing and producing deal. Per the terms of the pact, all of the films will be released domestically by Universal while Exclusive will retain and sell international rights.

The announcement was made by Exclusive co-chairmen Nigel Sinclair and Guy East and Cross Creek president Brian Oliver. Frank (The Lookout, Minority Report) wrote the adapted script.

Tombstones is based on Lawrence Frank's book of the same name, featuring the popular character Matthew Scudder. The project was long set up at Universal, with Harrison Ford attached to star at one point. Cross Creek announced last year it would finance the film and attached D.J. Caruso to direct.

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Tombstones is the first project to fall under the deal between Cross Creek and Exclusive. They reached the arrangement after teaming on several films, including The Ides of March, The Woman in Black and Ron Howard's Rush.

Sinclair and East said they were "thrilled" to formalize and strengthen their relationship with Cross Creek.

The deal gives both companies the first opportunity to co-finance and co-produce outside those set for the Universal pipeline, and both companies are jointly creating a six-figure revolving development fund to source additional properties outside their picture-by-picture financing responsibilities.

Exclusive Media president of international sales and distribution Alex Walton will introduce Tombstones to foreign buyers at the Marche du Film in Cannes, which got under way Thursday.

Neeson is in theaters this weekend in North America with Universal's Battleship.

Double Feature Films partners Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher are producing Tombstones with Danny DeVito and his company Jersey Films. Shooting is set to start on location in New York in 2013.