Oscar winner to rule roost in Berg pic

Jamie Foxx will star in “The Kingdom” for Universal Pictures.

Pic, to be helmed by Peter Berg, produced by Michael Mann and penned by Matthew Michael Carnahan, is aiming for a May start date.

Foxx will play the leader of a team of U.S. counter-terrorism investigators who set out to find the perpetrators behind a deadly attack on Americans in a Middle Eastern country. In order to work through the bureaucracy and cultural hostility, the team enlists a local police officer, but still find itself target for the terrorists.

Mann, who brought the idea to U with Berg, is producing through his Forward Pass banner. Also producing is Scott Stuber through the still unnamed shingle he and Mary Parent have set up.

Parent will exec produce along with John Cameron and Sarah Aubrey, partners with Berg in their U-based shingle Film 44.

Foxx won last year’s lead actor Oscar for his portrayal of Ray Charles in “Ray,” which U distribbed.

Pic marks the third in which Mann and Foxx have worked together. Foxx co-stars with Colin Farrell in Mann’s upcoming adaptation of his “Miami Vice,” skedded for release next summer. Thesp also co-starred with Tom Cruise in Mann’s “Collateral,” released last year.

Foxx is set to appear alongside Beyonce Knowles and Eddie Murphy in “Dreamgirls” for DreamWorks and Paramount.

This will be the third pic Berg has helmed for U, following “The Rundown” and “Friday Night Lights.” His banner, Film 44, has set up two other projects with U, “Bran Mak Morn” and “The Mission.”

“Kingdom” is the third announced project for the Stuber and Parent company. They are also producers on “You, Me & Dupree” and David O. Russell’s next project, both for U.

Overseeing for the studio are production prexy Jon Gordon and senior VP Dylan Clark.

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