Youngsters pedal to 'Darkness' redo


Amber Heard and Odette Yustman have signed on to star in "And Soon the Darkness," a remake of the 1970 British thriller being co-produced and co-financed by Studio Canal.

Heard also is making her first foray into producer territory, acting as a co-producer on the film, which marks the feature directorial debut of commercials helmer Marcos Efron.

Set in Argentina, "Darkness" tells the story of two American girls on a bike-riding trip in a remote part of the country. When one of them goes missing, the other must find her before darkness falls and her worst fears are realized.

The original was set in France and tackled the idea of how vulnerable a stranger in a strange land can be.

The new "Darkness" will shoot in Argentina.

Abandon Pictures also is financing the film. Lizzie Friedman, Karen Lauder, Deborah Marcus and Chris Clark are producing. Flora Fernandez is an executive producer.

Studio Canal is in production on "Chloe," the Atom Egoyan thriller starring Liam Neeson and Amanda Seyfried that it is fully financing.

Efron, repped by Original Artists and Hung Entertainment Group, was behind the Sundance short "Common Practice."

Yustman, repped by ICM and Evolution, recently starred in "The Unborn" and next appears in "Rogue's Gallery," an action comedy about assassins from Darko Entertainment and Infinity Media.

Heard, repped by Endeavor and Hyler Management, is on a hot streak. She stars with Johnny Depp and Aaron Eckhart in "Rum Diary," the adaptation of the Hunter S. Thompson novel, and will topline John Carpenter's first movie in nine years, "Ward 19." (partialdiff)