'Remote' in Sony's hands

Studio will team with Bond producers, Amber Ent. for U.K. spy film

Sony has picked up film rights to "Remote Control," a spy novel by Mark Burnell, for an adaptation to be produced by James Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli.

Ileen Maisel, a longtime executive who ran Paramount's London office and recently teamed with former New Line executive Mark Ordesky to form Amber Entertainment, also will produce.

Wilson and Broccoli aren't straying far from the Bond milieu: "Remote" follows a war correspondent-turned-British corporate-intelligence analyst who goes on the run with a former lover when he gets caught up in a conspiracy to destabilize the Chinese economy.

Burnell will write the adaptation. The author perhaps is best known for his novels featuring heroine Stephanie Patrick, with the first book set up as a project at New Line.

"Remote" puts Sony back in business with Wilson and Broccoli's Eon Prods. The company is behind the Bond movie series, which largely has been made with MGM. The two most recent pics, "Casino Royale" and "Quantum of Solace," were made with Sony's involvement.

Eon, Sony and MGM also are collaborating on an adaptation of the Roald Dahl book "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang." The 1968 original film was produced by Broccoli's father, Albert R. Broccoli.

"Remote" will be overseen at Columbia by Doug Belgrad and Elizabeth Cantillon. (partialdiff)