According to Variety, Paramount Pictures and Steven Spielberg have brought Stephen Sommers back into their tentpole remake of When World Collide. Sommers will write and direct the picture, and Spielberg will produce.

Sommers, who directed The Mummy and Van Helsing, was aligned with the project when Paramount first made a deal for it earlier this year (Daily Variety, April 11).

Paramount released the original 1951 When Worlds Collide, directed by Rudolph Mate, and cleaned up some rights issues surrounding the pic when Sommers became interested in remaking the actioner.

However, his version languished a bit when Par's new regime came in and he dropped out in favor of a deal to direct and produce Fox's "A Night at the Museum." At the same time, Spielberg came aboard When Worlds Collide as producer. That move came during studio excitement for War of the Worlds, which Spielberg directed and which has grossed $588 million worldwide.

Sometime around September, Sommers dropped out of Museum due to creative differences, which led him back to When Worlds Collide. The Fox project now is in the hands of Cheaper By The Dozen helmer Shawn Levy.

Sommers already is in business with Spielberg. He is onboard as a producer for the DreamWorks pic "The Argonauts." He and his production partner Bob Ducsay also are expected to receive producer credits on When Worlds Collide.

Because Sommers had been involved in the project earlier this year, sources said he could give it a quick script turnaround, possibly having a draft done in the next two or three months. He will start writing early in 2006.

Brian B.