Warners tries Alchemy

Fishburne doing it all in pic exploring man's purpose

Warner Bros. has set “Matrix” star Laurence Fishburne to write, direct and star in “The Alchemist,” an adaptation of the Paulo Coehlo novel. Deal comes as Fishburne stars for WB with Keanu Reeves in “The Matrix Reloaded,” to be released in May, and “The Matrix Revolutions” in November.

“The Alchemist” follows the journey of self-discovery undertaken by a traveler who ventures beyond his borders in Spain during the Inquisition, trying to understand man’s purpose on the planet.

It is the second film on which Fishburne will have pulled triple creative duties. He did that on “Once in the Life,” a film based on “Riff Raff,” the play he wrote, directed and starred in at the Circle Rep Theater in 1994. Aside from “Matrix,” Fishburne also just starred for WB in “Mystic River,” the Clint Eastwood-directed adaptation of the Dennis Lehane crime novel.

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