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Friedkin holding the ‘Bag’

NEW YORK — Director William Friedkin used his own money to option “Bag Men,” a new crime novel by John Flood, which is a pseudonym used by an assistant U.S. Attorney in New Jersey named Mark Costello.

Friedkin will move to set it up as a directing vehicle. Though the director’s upfront option money isn’t huge, Cos-tello will be paid $500,000, with bestseller bonuses built in, when the movie is made.

“Bag Men” is described as “The Usual Suspects” meets “Get Shorty,” but with an element of action that draws to mind past Friedkin films such as “To Live and Die in L.A.”

The novel, just published by Norton, is about an assistant district attorney named Ray Dunn who is pursuing the murderer of a priest in Boston in 1965 against the backdrop of LSD’s emerging popularity.

Friedkin is expected to start talks shortly with actor Michael Keaton, who also was interested in optioning the ma-terial. Friedkin, currently shooting a remake of “12 Angry Men” for Showtime, was repped in the deal by ICM’s Danny Greenberg. The author was repped by Jody Hotchkiss of Sterling Lord Literistic.

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