Vertigo Ent. hears 'Echo' from 'Sigaw'


Vertigo Entertainment will produce "The Echo," a remake of the acclaimed Filipino thriller "Sigaw." Yam Laranas, who co-wrote and directed "Sigaw," will direct the movie, being written by Eric Bernt.

The story centers on a young ex-con who moves into an old apartment building only to learn his neighbor is an abusive police officer who savagely beats his wife and daughter. When the ex-con tries to intervene, he becomes trapped in a curse.

Vertigo plans to move quickly with the film, eyeing a March 19 start date.

Vertigo's Roy Lee and Doug Davison will produce with Shintaro Shimosawa and Tyler Mitchell.

The rights were acquired from Regal Films of the Philippines.

The film is being fully financed by venture capitalist Robert Hoff through his new company RightOff Entertainment. Hoff, who fully finances the U.S. Olympic ski team, has been a general partner at Crosspoint Venture Partners since 1983, and was honored this year by the Los Angeles Venture Assn. with a Lifetime Achievement award. He serves as exec producer.

Bernt, repped by Endeavor, recently wrote "The Hitcher" remake for Rogue and Platinum Dunes. He also will serve as an exec producer.

Laranas is repped by ICM.

Vertigo, behind the remake franchises of "The Ring" and "The Grudge" film series, is basking in the glow of the success of Martin Scorsese's "The Departed." The company is in production on "The Strangers" for Universal, "Sassy Girl" for Gold Circle and "Addicted" for the Yari Film Group. Vertigo's next release will be the Nicole Kidman-starrer "The Invasion," scheduled to open Aug. 17.