Del Toro’s ‘Tru’ calling

Thesp signs on for prod'n slated to begin in fall

Benicio Del Toro is set to star alongside Denzel Washington in the Antoine Fuqua-directed “Tru Blu,” produced by Brian Grazer for Imagine Entertainment and Universal.

Steve Zaillian’s script is a fact-based drama about how a lawman brought down the biggest drug kingpin in Harlem in the 1970s.

Production will begin in early fall, and U has set a release date of June 3, 2005.

Del Toro will play Detective Richie Roberts, who was matched against Frank Lucas, the mastermind of a major heroin scheme in which the drug was smuggled into the U.S. in the caskets of soldiers killed in Vietnam.

The film is based in part on a New York Magazine article by Mark Jacobson. The project’s being shepherded by Jim Whitaker, who was just elevated to Imagine production prexy. Nick Pileggi is exec producing the pic.

Del Toro expected to star in “Che” late this summer. Instead, he’ll topline the film in 2005 with his “Traffic” director Steven Soderbergh at the helm.

Del Toro also committed to join the ensemble of the Robert Rodriguez-directed “Sin City.”

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