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Douglas to board U’s Mostow pic ‘U-571’

In negotiations to star, with final script input

Michael Douglas, looking to dive into his first full-fledged action role, is expected to star in the Jonathan Mostow-helmed “U-571” for Universal Pictures, sources said Friday.

Douglas, who was last seen in Polygram’s “The Game,” will work closely with Mostow on developing the script for “U-571.” Mostow’s original draft is getting a polish from scribe Sam Montgomery. But Douglas agreed to make the pic only if he has some input into the development of the final script.

Pic is a World War II action thriller about the search to recover a secret decoding device aboard a German sub. Douglas, should he commit, would play the leader of the U.S. contingent trying to steal the decoder known as the Enigma.

Douglas was overseas last week reading the script, but sources indicated things had heated up by week’s end and that he could commit shortly.

Dino and Martha DeLaurentiis are producing the project, which is expected to roll this spring.

Mostow’s new partner Hal Lieberman will likely exec produce, though no deal is in place.

Since ending his producing partnership with Steve Reuther, Douglas has inked for several pics as an actor.

Douglas recently finished “A Perfect Murder” for Warner Bros. under director Andy Davis.

Other feature credits include “The American President,” “Disclosure,” “Black Rain,” “The China Syndrome” and “Romancing the Stone.”

Douglas is repped by CAA’s Richard Lovett and David O’Connor.

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