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Penn to Join 'Cartel'

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Mar 10, 2009 | 9:52am EDT

Sean Penn is in talks to star in Universal and Imagine's Cartel.

The film, which evolved from a remake of the 1993 Italian film La Scorta to an action vehicle for Penn, will follow a man's journey to protect his son after his wife is brutally murdered amid the world of Mexican cartels. 

Asger Leth will direct with Brian Grazer producing. The script is by Peter Craig. Leth, who previously won a DGA Award for directing the 2006 documentary Ghosts of Cite Soleil, will make his feature debut with the film.

The original, directed byRicky Tognazzi, followed four cops' struggle to guard a special prosecutor trying to bring mob bosses to justice.

Variety reports that the studio and Imagine want to get the picture into production by summer but that a start date won't be set until Penn makes a deal.

Penn is also in continuing discussions for Doug Liman's Fair Game, about the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame.

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