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King, Verbinski team on new film

John Logan attached to write animated tale

Graham King has teamed with Gore Verbinski on an animated tale that John Logan will write.

Project, as yet untitled and still in the very early stages due to the writers strike, is projected for a 2010 release. Budget won’t be set until after the script is written but is expected to be about $100 million.

The producer is mounting the project under his GK Films banner. Details of the story are scarce, but Verbinski would likely use his facility working with f/x-based creatures on the “Pirates of the Caribbean” pics in this directing endeavor.

Although King knew Verbinski through “Pirates” star Johnny Depp, who has a production deal with King, it was Logan who suggested the pairing. The writer had worked with King on “The Aviator.”

GK Films and Blind Wink Prods., Verbinski’s shingle, are producing along with producer John B. Carls. Verbinski has already enlisted visual effects guru Mark McCreery, who designed the creatures for the first “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie, along with James Ward Byrkit, who was art department designer for all three “Pirates” pics.

Verbinski and King both said they had wanted to make an animated film.

“It’s the first movie I’ve ever done that I can take my kids to,” said King. “I’ve been looking to do movies that play to audiences of all ages.”

Producer, who has a first-look deal at Warners, is also adapting “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” a children’s story about a 12-year-old orphan living in a Paris train station in 1930 and embroiled in a mystery involving his father and a robot.

Logan is scripting the adaptation, and Martin Scorsese is aboard to direct. He said “Shantaram,” a Depp project put on hold by the writers strike, will be resurrected, although he’s not certain exactly when, given the variables of the SAG contract and monsoon season in India.

King is also developing “Sasha’s Story: The Life and Death of a Russian Spy,” “Dark Shadows” and “The Rum Diary” with Infinitum Nihil, Depp’s shingle. He recently completed lensing “The Young Victoria.”

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