'Pretender' is chilling for Costner


Kevin Costner will star as a dad whose daughter begins displaying scary behavior in the Gold Circle thriller "The New Pretender." Spanish helmer Luiso Berdejo is attached to direct in his feature debut.

Costner will play John James, a single father who moves to a farm with his two kids after a painful divorce. Soon, his daughter (Ivana Baquero of "Pan's Labyrinth") starts behaving ominously, and Dad begins to suspect that the burial mound in a nearby field might have something to do with it.

"Pretender" is adapted by John Travis from a story by John Connolly, published in his 2005 short fiction collection "Nocturnes." Principal photography is set to begin in the first quarter.

The film will be fully financed by Gold Circle, with international sales handled by Mandate Pictures. Paul Brooks will produce, and Scott Niemeyer and Norm Waitt will executive produce. Gold Circle's Guy Danella brought the material to the company and shepherded its development with senior executive Brad Kessell.

Costner most recently starred in and produced Touchstone's "Swing Vote" and MGM's "Mr. Brooks." Berdejo has directed several shorts that have seen success on the festival circuit, including "La Guerra" and "Limoncello."

"Pretender" will be Baquero's first film since starring in "Labyrinth" and marks her English-language debut.

Gold Circle is now in production on the supernatural thriller "The Haunting in Connecticut" for Lionsgate.

Costner is repped by CAA, JJ Harris of One Talent Management and attorney Daniel Grigsby at Jeffer Mangels Butler & Marmaro. Berdejo is repped by CAA and the Safran Co.