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Brando The Hyphenate… Exodus Among L.A. Exex

Marlon Brando, busier as an actor than he has been since his welterweight days, is branching out to producing and writing chores. Brando, who’ll next be seen starring alongside Johnny Depp in New Line’s “Don Juan De Marco,” plans to co-produce and star with Debra Winger in “Divine Rapture,” an independent British feature produced by Barry Navidi and Demian Burger.

The picture will shoot in Ireland, in either the spring or, if Brando first goes to Australia to play the title character in New Line’s remake of “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” in the fall. In “Divine Rapture,” Brando will play a priest who nominates a woman for sainthood. The producers are in Hollywood this week to complete fundraising for the $13.5 million budget.

And although sales of his Random House memoirs proved somewhat disappointing, a new Brando writing project is being quietly shopped to studios. “Bull Boy,” a screen-play based on a story by Brando and co-written by Brando and playwright Elizabeth Swados, has Sean Penn attached to direct. As with “Divine Rapture,” Brando plans to play a substantial role in the film.

Is Brando planning to direct a film again? Rumor had him taking that job on “Divine Rapture,” though sources close to the actor deny it. It’s too bad. He showed great promise, back in 1961, when he got his first and only directing credit on “One- Eyed Jacks,” the Western he starred in with Karl Malden. Brando took over directing duties from Stanley Kubrick mid-way through the shoot.

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