By Dana Harris
Bill Paxton and Nicholas Lea are climbing onto Columbia Pictures' "The Vertical Limit." Chris O'Donnell also stars in the thriller, which is directed by Martin Campbell. Paxton is in final negotiations to portray a mountain-climbing billionaire whose inexperience collides with his arrogance while climbing treacherous K2.
Lea (best known as "The X-Files" villain Alex Krycek) will play Tom, the leader of Paxton's group, which becomes trapped and must be rescued by O'Donnell.
The film, which also stars Robin Tunney and Scott Glenn, is scheduled to begin production in New Zealand on Aug. 2.
Paxton recently wrapped production on Universal's submarine thriller "U-571." He is repped by Endeavor.
Lea is shooting the Jason Priestley-helmed movie of the week "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye" for ABC [sic]. He is repped by Metropolitan Talent and Adam Levine at McGowan Levine Management.
Producing the film for Columbia-based Phoenix Pictures are Lloyd Phillips and Marcia Nasatir, along with Campbell and the film's screenwriter, Robert King. "Vertical Limit" is slated for a summer 2000 release.