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Fishburne swimming WB’s ‘River’

Helgeland, Eastwood to pen adaptation of Lehane novel

Laurence Fishburne is in final negotiations to topline “Mystic River” at Warner Bros.

The Oscar-nommed thesp (“What’s Love Got to Do With It”) would play the partner of a cop investigating a murder that links three old friends.

Script is from screenwriter Brian Helgeland (“L.A. Confidential”), who has joined forces with producer-director-actor Clint Eastwood to pen the adaptation of the bestselling psychological suspense novel by Dennis Lehane.

Fishburne next appears in Warner Bros.’ “The Matrix: Reloaded” in May 2003 and “The Matrix: Revolutions” in November 2003.

“River” was set up last spring by Warners and Eastwood’s Malpaso Prods., and it’s the second project on which Eastwood and Helgeland have collaborated. The two recently worked on the adaptation of bestselling mystery/thriller “Blood Work” by Michael Connelly. Warners will release that pic, which Eastwood produced and directed from Helgeland’s screenplay, in August. Eastwood also stars.

Fishburne is repped in the deal by Paradigm and managed by Landmark Artists.

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