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Saturday 6th March, 2004
COSTNER PACKS TRUNK FOR ELEPHANT EPIC
Kevin Costner is in negotiations to direct and possibly star in "Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived," based on the novel by Ralph Helfer.
"Modoc" is described as a "Black Stallion"-type love story between a man and an animal with elements reminiscent of "Forrest Gump."

It tells the joint biography of a man, Bram, and his elephant, Modoc, both born in a small German circus town on the same day in 1896. Bram was the son of an elephant trainer, and Modoc was the daughter of the trainer's prize performer.

The boy and the elephant grew up side by side, but when the Wunderzircus and its animals were sold to America, Bram stowed away on the ship to avoid parting ways with the elephant.

The film's producer, Scott Steindorff ("The Human Stain"), and his Stone Village Pictures banner purchased the rights to the novel from literary agent Joel Gotler last month for a low-six-figure advance. Steindorff and Costner, who will also produce, will now look for a writer to adapt the novel.

It is known that they are looking to shoot next year in Europe, India, the United States and possibly Africa.

Costner, last in theaters with the Disney Western "Open Range," recently committed to another Disney Western, "Horizon," and New Line's "Taming Ben Taylor."
"No... this will not be a white elephant!"


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