Road to 'Suki' finds Couvelaire


Samuel Hadida's Davis Films has signed French action helmer Louis-Pascal Couvelaire to direct an adaptation of Robert Leininger's cult thriller novel "Killing Suki Flood," Hadida said Thursday.

Leininger's novel begins with a chance meeting on a deserted New Mexico highway between Frank, a traveler with a criminal secret, and Suki, a sexy young woman escaping from her sadistic boyfriend. Suki discovers that Frank is carrying a large quantity of stolen cash, and he finds that she has taken her boyfriend's stash of diamonds.

"It's a very hip, cool road movie, in the style of 'True Romance,' " said Hadida, who produced that Tony Scott-helmed picture. Casting is under way on the English-language movie, which is budgeted in the $30 million range. "I hope we'll shoot this summer in the same Nevada and New Mexico locations that appear in the book," he said.

Hadida's distribution company Metropolitan Filmexport will release the film in France in spring 2008. World sales will be launched at next week's European Film Market in Berlin through Essential Entertainment, the new venture launched by sales veteran Jere Hausfater and Jim Kohlberg.

An award-winning ad director, Couvelaire's credits include Le Mans racing drama "Michel Vaillant" and the desert heist story "Sweat," starring Jean-Hugues Anglade and also produced by Hadida. The screenplay for "Suki" is by Katherine Tomlinson, who wrote the TV series "La Femme Nikita."

Hadida's recent production credits include video game adaptation "Silent Hill" and Scott's "Domino," which starred Keira Knightley.

Davis Films expects to start production in May on the previously announced epic adventure "Solomon Kane," adapted from the Robert E. Howard classic about a 16th century Puritan who wanders the world to vanquish evil. The movie, co-produced with Wandering Star, is directed by Michael Bassett ("Deathwatch"). "Casting is ongoing and we're scouting for locations, probably in Prague," Hadida said.

The company also is in postproduction on the third installment of the "Resident Evil" franchise made with Germany's Constantin Film that is scheduled for release in the last quarter of this year.