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Universal restarts ‘Spy Hunter’

Paul W.S. Anderson to direct adaptation

“Spy Hunter” is revving up again at Universal.

“Resident Evil” and “Alien vs. Predator” director Paul W.S. Anderson will direct the big-budget adaptation of the popular Midway videogame that revolves around a transforming supercar called the Interceptor.

Anderson will be working with another scribe to pen the project, which has already gone through several writers, including Michael Brandt, Derek Haas, Zak Penn and Stuart Beattie.

John Woo was originally attached to helm the project in 2004.

Pic will introduce the never-seen spy hunter who works for a secret government agency. He uses the gadget-packed Interceptor (which can transform from a car into a motorcycle, jet ski and submarine) to hunt down agents and thwart a shadowy terrorist org known as Nostra.

The game’s been around since the 1980s, and the car’s turned into a pop culture icon; automakers are expected to be salivating over the chance to slap their brand’s badge on the hood.

Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson has long been attached to play the secret agent behind the wheel of the vehicle. Whether he’ll be recast has yet to be determined.

Johnson has already starred in “Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run,” a Midway game released last year. Plan was for the game to come out with the “Spy Hunter” movie, but when development hit a snag, the gamemaker was forced to release the title early in order to recoup production costs.

Anderson’s next pic is “Death Race,” a redo of 1975’s “Death Race 2000” that he is also directing for U.

Adrian Askarieh, who has an adaptation of the vidgame “Hitman” filming at Fox, is producing the project with Chuck Gordon and Jeremy Bolt.

Askarieh and producing partner Daniel Alter also have a bigscreen version of the Eidos Interactive game “Kane and Lynch” set up at Lionsgate and comicbook adaptations “Hack/Slash” and “Lost Squad” at Rogue Pictures, based on the Devil’s Due Publishing comicbooks.

(Dave McNary contributed to this report.)

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