Need: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Marcus Nispel, director of the recent horror smash, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, has signed to helm Need for Escape Artists and Paramount Pictures. Production is slated to start Feb. 1 in Los Angeles.

In "Need," a successful New York therapist discovers that one of her patients -- a suicidal woman named Beth -- is having an affair with her husband. Diane Lane is in final negotiations to star as the therapist. The co-starring roles have yet to be cast. Chloe King wrote the script, which is loosely based on David Lawrence's novel of the same name.

Nispel became a wanted man around town when his feature directorial debut, the $9 million-budgeted "Chainsaw," opened to $28.1 million. Its gross stands at $66.1 million. The Monday after the film's opening weekend, Nispel was deluged with offers, sources said. Before turning his attention to movies, the German-born director worked in the music video world. He is repped by Endeavor.

Brian B.