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Langella continues as Nixon

Actor to star in Howard-directed adaptation

Frank Langella will carry his portrayal of Richard Nixon from stage to screen, starring in “Frost-Nixon,” Universal’s Ron Howard-directed adaptation of the hit Peter Morgan play.

Langella reteams with Michael Sheen, who had previously been tapped to reprise his role as Frost in the film version.

Speculation has run high over the Nixon casting. Rumors in recent weeks indicated Warren Beatty would play Nixon. Many felt skeptical that Beatty would actually commit — the famously vacillating actor was poised to play the title role in “Kill Bill” until bowing out. While Tom Hanks, Kevin Spacey and other names surfaced, Langella was chosen by Howard, and negotiations began late last week.

The nod comes as the thesp received nominations from the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle for his performance in the play, which bowed on Broadway April 22 after a London run. The play is skedded to end Aug 13, after a 20-week run.

Pic, which dramatizes the series of TV interviews between the fallen U.S. president and journo David Frost, is set to begin shooting Aug 27.

Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner will produce with Imagine’s Brian Grazer.

Morgan, who turned his play into a shooting script, is coming off a year in which films he wrote resulted in Oscar wins for Forest Whitaker in “The Last King of Scotland” and Helen Mirren in “The Queen.”

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