Brosnan will reprise role in MGM feature

Paul Verhoeven is set to helm “The Thomas Crown Affair 2″ for MGM. Pierce Brosnan will reprise his role as the world’s most debonair thief and corporate raider in the sequel, which is set to begin shooting in January.

Rene Russo will not return as Crown’s love interest. Instead, the follow-up to the 1999 film, which was a remake of a 1968 Steve McQueen-Faye Dunaway starrer, will feature a character named Nadia Badri as the new female lead. That role is uncast.

Latest installment is set in Europe and the Middle East and centers on Crown, who becomes entangled in a centuries-old feud and must decide how much he’s truly willing to risk for love.

Brosnan is producing alongside Beau St. Clair and Dino Conte.

Verhoeven’s involvement signals that MGM has committed to a big-budget picture, which will be shot on location in Europe. The Dutch director most recently helmed the World War II drama “Black Book.” His credits also include “Starship Troopers” and “Hollow Man.”

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