According to The Holywood Reporter, Karl Urban is in negotiations to star in "Pathfinder," a Viking epic being made by Phoenix Pictures and helmer Marcus Nispel. 20th Century Fox is distributing.

"Pathfinder" is a remake of the 1987 Norwegian film by helmer Nils Gaup to which Phoenix acquired the rights to in 2001. While the original followed Norway's warlike clans around the year 1000 A.D., the new version, with a script by screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis (Alexander), is set in North America around the same time, when Vikings inadvertently discovered the continent 500 years before Columbus.

The story centers on a Viking boy who accidentally is left behind during a skirmish between the Vikings and Americans Indians. The American Indians raise the boy as their own, but when their village is wiped out in a Viking raid, the adopted Viking becomes his people's defender in battling the Norsemen. Urban would play the adopted Viking.

"Pathfinder" is eyeing a Sept. 21 start and Vancouver shoot. The budget is about $30 million.

Phoenix's Mike Medavoy and Arnold Messer are producing, as is Nispel.

New Zealand-born Urban gained international attention playing Eomer in the "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. He also starred in Universal's The Chronicles of Riddick and next stars in the studio's upcoming video game adaptation Doom.

Cinemark Movie Club
Evan Jacobs