Sean Penn--Director?

Sean Penn may be headed for the director’s chair, following in the footsteps of his director dad Leo Penn. “But there are some ‘ifs’ attached,” says producer Thom Mount, who explains that his Mount Co. is currently attempting to put financing/distribution in place for Penn’s directorial debut film, “Indian Runner.”

Scripted by Penn, it’s a drama involving “a family unit"--including a pair of brothers--set in Middle America. “We’re hoping to shoot it in someplace like Nebraska, in the summer,” says Mount, anticipating a budget under $10 million.

Penn, currently rewriting, will not star. “Our feeling--and his--is that it would be a fool’s errand for a first-time director to also act in his picture.”

Could Penn’s famous temper affect a directorial gig?


“I’ve known Sean a long time--and I’ve never seen any conduct that was anything but professional, and exemplary,” insists Mount, who was Universal Pictures prez when Penn did the studio’s “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”

Really? “I’m dead serious when I tell you that we’re completely convinced that everything’s going to be fine with Sean directing. We think he’s going to give us a terrific picture.”