EXCLUSIVE: After directing the steamy, sexy hits Flashdance, 9 1/2 Weeks, Fatal Attraction, Indecent Proposal, and Lolita, Adrian Lyne has found nothing to get excited about since 2002’s Unfaithful. Finally, he has found a project that has him hot and bothered. Lyne last night closed a deal to direct Deep Water, a Zach Helm-scripted adaptation of the classic thriller novel by Patricia Highsmith, the late author of Strangers On A Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley. Lyne is making the film with Fox 2000‘s Elizabeth Gabler, with whom he teamed on Unfaithful, the study of infidelity that starred Richard Gere, Diane Lane, and Olivier Martinez. Deep Water will be mounted as a co-production between Film Rites and Film 360.

The contemporized Deep Water tells the story of Vic and Melinda, an attractive young married couple whose mind games with each other take a twisted turn when people around them start turning up dead. There is already a conversation with a big star, and if it pans, scheduling will dictate start of production. This project is a long time coming: Ben Forkner, who with Film 360 cohort Guymon Casady is producing alongside Fox-based Film Rites’ Garrett Basch and Steve Zaillian, went to Zurich eight years ago to court the Highsmith estate, and came away with rights from the iconic author’s family. They and Film Rites have been working on it ever since and finally got a script they liked from Helm, who scripted Stranger Than Fiction and wrote-directed Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. Lyne is repped by WME’s Robert Newman.