Actor set to star, direct, exec produce future projects

HBO has struck an unusually wide-ranging deal with Michael Keaton to develop a range of material for the pay cabler.

First-look pact calls for the thesp to exec produce, direct and star in projects for HBO. It’s understood the cabler is looking to build a series around Keaton, but the pact may also encompass longform ventures.

Keaton previously worked with the pay web on the 2002 “Live From Baghdad,” in which he played a CNN producer covering the 1991 Gulf War.

“Michael Keaton is a multifaceted talent who never fails to engage the audience in fresh ways,” said Michael Lombardo, prexy of HBO Programming. “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with him.”

Keaton’s recent work includes a voiceover part in “Toy Story 3.” His previous directing work includes the 2008 indie “The Merry Gentleman,” in which he starred opposite current “Boardwalk Empire” trouper Kelly Macdonald.

Keaton said he didn’t hesitate when HBO approached him about a deal.

“When you look at the overall landscape out there and see what’s getting done, you realize it’s not only the types of things HBO is doing, but how extraordinarily well they do them,” Keaton said. “The question really becomes, why would you not want to be in business with these folks when they ask?”

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