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Dean to rebel on TNT

Rydell to helm biographical pic about troubled icon

NEW YORK — After nearly a decade in development, James Dean’s life story will finally be told — as an original telepic at TNT.

The cabler plans to premiere “James Dean: An Invented Life,” which will track Dean’s rise as a film star up until his death at age 24, in 2001.

Mark Rydell (“On Golden Pond,” “The Rose”) will direct; playwright and screenwriter Israel Horovitz, who was originally attached to the project when it was set up at Warner Bros. in 1992, will write the screenplay.

Rydell and Bill Gerber, the former Warner Bros. co-president of production who oversaw development of “The James Dean Story” while at the studio, will exec produce.

Rydell, who performed with Dean at the Actor’s Studio in New York, said the film will focus on Dean’s childhood traumas and his tormented relationship with his father.

A search is currently under way for a thesp to take the leading role. “It’s an amazing challenge for us to find the right actor, and it will be just as challenging for the actor to portray Dean in all of his complexities,” said Rydell. “It will be the role of a lifetime.”

At various points throughout the history of the project, Leonardo DiCaprio, Stephen Dorff and Gary Oldman have been mentioned for the role of Dean.

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