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Swank will wear ‘Black’

Thesp gets gig in 'Dahlia'

Hilary Swank will play a femme fatale in “The Black Dahlia,” the Brian De Palma-directed adaptation of the James Ellroy novel.

Swank, who was nominated for two Golden Globes on Tuesday (for “Million Dollar Baby” and HBO’s “Iron Jawed Angels”), joins Josh Hartnett and Scarlett Johansson in the drama.

Avi Lerner’s Millennium Films and Signature Pictures Intl. are financing the project. Pic’s budget is north of $30 million.

Shooting starts April 4 in Bulgaria, with Art Linson, Moshe Diamant, Rudy Cohen and Lerner producing.

While Swank came to prominence playing boyish roles in “Boys Don’t Cry” and the upcoming “Million Dollar Baby,” De Palma wants her to lead with her looks this time.

“The Black Dahlia” revolves around two boxers-turned-cops investigating the brutal murder of Elizabeth Short, a crime that rocked 1940s Los Angeles. Swank’s character is a dead ringer for the victim who became known as the Black Dahlia and proves a dangerous seductress to the cops.

“This has shaped up to be a strong young cast with material and themes that play to Brian’s strengths,” said Linson, who last worked with De Palma on “The Untouchables.”

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