Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt Hero Headed for the Big Screen

Posted on May 13, 2002

Crusader Entertainment's screen adaptation of the bestselling Clive Cussler novel, Sahara, is set to commence production on October 28. Paramount Pictures, who will release the film as part of a three year first look US distribution deal with Crusader, made the announcement. Helmed by Rob Bowman (X Files: The Movie; Reign of Fire), Sahara is the first in a series of motion pictures based on the bestselling action-adventure books by Clive Cussler, featuring the popular adventure hero Dirk Pitt.

"Clive's Dirk Pitt books have an enormous, fanatical following, and his characters and stories demand the kind of big screen adaptation that Rob can deliver," said Sherry Lansing, Chairman, Paramount Pictures Motion Picture Group. "We're excited by the possibilities Sahara offers, and are thrilled to be working with Crusader to make this one of our tentpole releases for 2003."

Cussler published his first Dirk Pitt novel, Iceberg, in 1973. In the U.S., 17 consecutive Pitt novels have been New York Times bestsellers. Pitt's adventures have been published in over 40 languages in over 100 countries, and Cussler's publisher estimates his global readership at over 120 million books in print. The latest bestselling Dirk Pitt adventure is Valhalla Rising; other titles include Atlantis Found, Night Probe, Inca Gold and Flood Tide.

"Getting Sahara ready for the big screen is very exciting and a huge challenge," said Bowman. "We have an obligation to Clive and his devoted fans to bring a lot of heart-pounding action, intense drama and just the right amount of humor to be true to his original vision. We want fans to expect a lot, because we expect to deliver a lot."

Most of Sahara will be shot in the spectacular sand dunes of Namibia. "The weather is perfect for shooting in late October," said Howard Baldwin, president of Crusader Entertainment. "Land, sea and the elements all play a big part in Clive's stories, so we're optimistic that we'll be able to capture an environment befitting the terrific story."

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