Bratt Chooses Abandon Over Instinct

Although Benjamin Bratt is hot off the success of Miss Congeniality and a small role in Traffic that earned him a Screen Actors Guild ensemble award — not to mention his high-profile gig as Julia Roberts' boyfriend — he's apparently not good enough for Sharon Stone.

Ms. Stone has been hemming and hawing over whether to approve Bratt as her leading man in Basic Instinct 2, according to Variety, and Bratt has tired of waiting.

Now the former Law & Order hunk is in final negotiations to star in the psychological thriller Abandon, the directorial debut of Steve Gaghan, the Oscar-nominated scribe of Traffic.

The Paramount film would co-star Katie Holmes as a woman who has disturbing visions of her vanished ex-lover. Coincidentally, Holmes' last role was in The Gift, in which she played a murder victim who troubles psychic Cate Blanchett by appearing to her in visions.

Meanwhile, director John McTiernan, who "pushed hard" for Bratt, according to Variety, may tap Vincent Perez (I Dreamed of Africa) or his The Thomas Crown Affair star, Pierce Brosnan, for the male lead in BI2.

The James Bond star is now available again, after his film A Sound of Thunder fell victim to the pre-strike filming deadline. Brosnan had already turned down the Basic sequel when David Cronenberg was attached to direct, but he may reconsider for McTiernan.