With Michael Mann gearing up to start production on an untitled thriller involving cyber crime, Spike Lee has come on to direct the rags-to-riches tale "Gold," which Teddy Schwarzman's Black Bear Pictures will finance and produce with Paul Haggis and Michael Nozik of Hwy 61.
Written by Patrick Massett and John Zinman and based on a true story about the 1993 Bre-X Mineral Corporation mining scandal, "Gold" follows a rough-around-the-edges prospector who stumbles onto one of the largest gold mines in the world in the Indonesian jungle.
While Lee is listed as the director of "Gold" on Black Bear's website and IMDb, his involvement in the project had not yet been reported.
Massett and Zinman will join Schwarzman, Haggis and Nozik as producers. CAA is repping domestic rights.
It's possible that "Gold" could be Lee's next movie, as production is expected to start before the end of the year, though that will depend on the availability of the actor that filmmakers wind up casting as the lead character.
Haggis developed the project before showing it to Mann as a writing sample for Massett and Zinman. Mann then signed on to direct and produce through his Forward Pass banner, but he exited the project in March 2012 in order to focus on developing "Big Tuna" and an upcoming untitled cyber thriller that will star Chris Hemsworth.
Black Bear Pictures recently produced the Sundance comedy "A.C.O.D." and has J.C. Chandor's "All Is Lost," starring Robert Redford, premiering at Cannes.
Lee is currently in post-production on an English-language remake of revenge thriller "Oldboy," which FilmDistrict will release on October 11. Josh Brolin stars alongside Sharlto Copley and Elizabeth Olsen.
The Oscar-nominated filmmaker is represented by CAA, which did not immediately reply to a request for comment.