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Thornton eyes 'Arkansas'

Arkansas native Billy Bob Thornton, who won an Academy Award for scripting “Sling Blade,” is in discussions with DreamWorks about stepping behind the camera to direct “Arkansas,” sources said. Brad Pitt has long been attached to the turn-of-the-century story about a farmer who imports orphans to work the land. “Shine” director Scott Hicks, who has a deal at DreamWorks, had been attached to direct the film. But Hicks has now committed to Universal Pictures’ “Snow Falling on Cedars,” which was adapted by Ron Bass from the novel by David Guterson. Thornton has two other possible directing projects on his plate at Miramax Films, where he has a deal. The actor is repped by the William Morris Agency’s Todd Harris.

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