Thesp set to play a drug kingpin

“Private Practice” star Benjamin Bratt has signed on to join Dwayne Johnson in Ric Roman Waugh’s action thriller “Snitch.”

Pic, which started production this week in Shreveport, La., is a co-production between Exclusive Media Group, Participant Media and Imagenation Abu Dhabi that will be released in the U.S. by Summit Entertainment.

Inspired by true events, “Snitch” stars Johnson as a father forced to become an informant for the DEA to reduce his falsely accused son’s 10-year jail sentence. Bratt portrays a major player in the Mexican drug trade exposed by protag’s amateur undercover work, which escalates the situation.

Susan Sarandon co-stars alongside Barry Pepper, Jon Bernthal, Melina Kanakaredes, Michael K. Williams, Rafi Gavron and Nadine Velazquez.

Johnson will produce with Dany Garcia and David Fanning, as well as Exclusive, which is co-financing with Participant and Imagenation Abu Dhabi. Waugh adapted the screenplay from an original script by Justin Haythe (“Revolutionary Road”), who will exec produce with Becki Cross Trujillo, as well as Exclusive and Participant Media.

“Snitch,” which shoots in Shreveport until Jan. 19, is currently slated for theatrical release in the first quarter of 2013.

Bratt is no stranger to films about the drug trade, having played a drug kingpin in Steven Soderbergh’s “Traffic.” He’s repped by WME and D/F Management.

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