Pair placed behind bars for thriller


Nicolas Cage and director John Carpenter are in final negotiations to team up for the prison thriller "Scared Straight."

Nu Image/Millennium Films would finance the film and is in negotiations with Contrafilm's Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson along with Randall Emmett and George Furla to produce. Avi Lerner also would produce.

"Straight" follows a troubled youth who's sent to prison off the Scared Straight crime-prevention program, which imprisons delinquent teens for a short period in the hopes of deterring them from a life of crime. While the teen is there, a riot breaks out and the prisoners take him hostage. A lifer, played by Cage, is forced to help the young man out.

The project was set up at New Line for a couple of years but was let go recently. Contrafilm brought the project to Emmett/ Furla Films, which has a deal with Nu Image/Millennium.

Joe Gazzam wrote the original spec, which was rewritten by Ron Brinkerhoff.

Noah Rosen is exec producing as is Rob Cohen, who was attached to direct at one point.

An October start is being eyed.

The project marks a return to the big screen for WMA-repped Carpenter, who became one of the "masters of horror" in the late 1970s with "Halloween," "The Fog" and "The Thing," among other cult classics.

Carpenter's most recent feature was 2001's "Ghosts of Mars," though he has dabbled in TV, directing a couple of episodes of Showtime's "Masters of Horror" in 2005 and 2006.

Cage, repped by CAA, is shooting Werner Herzog's remake of "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans." (partialdiff)