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Collaring his first starring role in a major studio feature since leaving “NYPD Blue,” Jimmy Smits is near a deal to join Kim Basinger in Paramount’s supernatural thriller “Bless the Child.”Smits, who played detective Bobby Simone on the long-running ABC hourlong, will play — what else? — a detective who helps Basinger keep a child out of the hands of a satanist. “Child” will be helmed by Chuck Russell (“The Mask,” “Eraser”) and produced by Mace Neufeld. Not that Smits has been home watching reruns since exiting “Blue” late last year, after nearly five years on the show. Before starting work on “Child,” Smits will already have two other features under his belt: Wim Wenders’ “Million Dollar Hotel,” with Mel Gibson and Milla Jovovich, and New Line’s drama “Price of Glory,” in which he stars as boxer Arturo Ortego. “Bless” is based on a script by Cliff and Ellen Green that was rewritten by Don Roos and Russell. Smits is repped by Endeavor and managed by Sherman Management.
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