Mendes moved to join 'Spirit'

By Borys Kit

Eva Mendes (Getty Images photo)

Frank Miller continues to lure femmes fatales for "Will Eisner's The Spirit," lining up Eva Mendes for the key role of Sand Saref, a beauty with dangerous curves. Miller, the comic auteur making his feature-length directorial debut on the film, has welcomed acclaimed cinematographer Bill Pope to make sure the curves are in fine focus.

Mendes joins Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson and Gabriel Macht in the fantasy thriller about a rookie cop (Macht) who returns from the dead to fight crime as the Spirit from the shadows of Central City.

Sand Saref is described as the only woman who could break the Spirit's heart. As teenage lovers, the two were torn apart when Sand's father was accidentally killed by the Spirit's uncle.

Production will begin in October in New Mexico and will be shot entirely at Albuquerque Studios.

Odd Lot Entertainment's Deborah Del Prete and Gigi Pritzker will produce along with Michael Uslan of Batfilm Prods. Batfilm co-founder Benjamin Melniker and Steve Maier are executive producers. Odd Lot's Linda McDonough and Batfilm's F.J. DeSanto serve as co-producers.

Odd Lot and Lionsgate are production partners on "The Spirit," with Lionsgate holding domestic and U.K. rights. It is scheduled to release the film in 2009.

Pope worked with the Wachowskis on "Bound" and the "Matrix" trilogy and teamed with Sam Raimi on "Darkman," "Army of Darkness" and the "Spider-Man" sequels.

Mendes, who has appeared in the hits "Hitch" and "Ghost Rider," next appears in Columbia's "We Own the Night" opposite Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg and Robert Duvall. She is filming "The Women" with Meg Ryan, Jada Pinkett Smith, Debra Messing, Annette Bening and Candice Bergen.

Mendes is repped by CAA, Management 360 and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.

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