French 'Bait' lures producers

Eisner, Peyronnet, Milchan to redo 1995 thriller

A trio of prominent producers are banding together to make an English-language version of the 1995 French thriller "The Bait."

Eric Eisner, Aimee Peyronnet and Alexandra Milchan will produce the U.S. film, based on Bertrand Tavernier's movie about a young couple whose seemingly foolproof criminal plans go awry. The group has attached Matthew Cirulnick, the scribe on Spyglass' upcoming graffiti drama "Vandals," to write the screenplay.

"Bait," released in France as "L'appat," revolves around a woman, her boyfriend and his friend who come up with a plan to rob the houses of wealthy married men by using the woman as "bait" -- that is, having her seduce the men -- but whose plan quickly leads to missteps and murder.

The project continues a trend of U.S. producers redoing foreign hits in English. "The Departed" was a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong action film "Infernal Affairs," while Universal/Imagine and the Weinstein Co. are developing remakes of Michael Haneke's "Cache" and "The Lives of Others," respectively.

Like those films, the setting and time will be changed in the U.S. version. The original, based on a true story, was set in Paris in the 1980s; the new movie will be set in contemporary New York.

"This is a film about people facing moral dilemmas as they try to move ahead in society, so it transcends cultures," Eisner said, adding that the wealth -- and wealth gaps -- of New York make it an appropriate setting.

Eiser's L&E Prods. will produce with Peyronnet's Wild Child and Milchan's Emjag banners. The project was acquired from French shingle Little Bear.