If anyone thinks Summit Entertainment's dip in the prestige filmmaking world with "The Hurt Locker" was a one shot wonder they're sadly mistaken.  The company that has lived off the massive success of "The Twilight Saga" announced today it will distribute Roman Polanski's new thriller "The Ghost Writer" to North American audiences in the first half of 2010.  

Currently, under house arrest in Switzerland and awaiting possible extradition to the United States,the visionary behind such classics as "Rosemary's Baby" and "Chinatown" has been finishing up the thriller that features Ewan McGregor, Olivia Wilde, Pierce Brosnan and Kim Cattrall.

According to a release from Summit, the synopsis is as follows:

["The Ghost Writer"] tells the story of a former British Prime Minister, Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan), who is holed up on an island off the Eastern seaboard of the U.S. in midwinter, writing his memoirs.  When his long-standing aide drowns, a professional ghostwriter (Ewan McGregor) is sent out to help him finish the book.  The anonymous ghost writer is quickly drawn into a political and sexual intrigue involving Lang’s wife, Ruth (Olivia Williams) and his aide (Kim Cattrall).  Hanging over Lang is the threat of a war crimes trial and a mysterious secret from his past that threatens to jeopardize international relations.  The cast also includes Jim Belushi, Robert Pugh and Tom Wilkinson.  Alexandre Desplat scored the film.

On a purely speculative basis, it would not be surprising to see "Ghost Writer" make its debut at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Such a move would be a political p.r. move regarding Polanski's case (which may not be resolved by even then) and a boon for the film's commercial prospects.

Additionally, this is the sort of prestige bait investment that can help Summit on two fronts.  First, it shows the company is still committed to quality fare such as this year's Best Picture contender "The Hurt Locker" and "The Brothers Bloom."  Second, in theory it will continue to assure up and coming filmmakers that the mini-major can be a studio where their creative voices are heard.  

And in the long run, don't discount "Ghost Writer" as potential awards fair for the 2011 season.  As recently as 2003 Polanski won the Academy Award for Best Director for "The Pianist" and the film is based on a best-selling novel by acclaimed writer Robert Harris who also co-wrote the screenplay with the filmmaker.

Combined with Polanski's continuing legal drama, it certainly makes "The Ghost Writer" one of the more intriguing releases and stories for 2010.