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D’Works to put up ‘Collateral’ thriller

Studio fast-tracks pic dealing with mob underworld

DreamWorks Pictures has purchased the thriller “Collateral” from scribe Stuart Beattie for a mid-six figures.

Pic will be produced by Julie Richardson, with Frank Darabont (“The Green Mile”), Rob Fried and Chuck Russell serving as exec producers.

DreamWorks exec Marc Haimes will oversee the project for the studio, which plans to fast-track the pic.

Script tells the story of a New York City taxi driver who realizes that he is “collateral” when he realizes he is driving a hit man from murder to murder. (Collateral, in such underworld terms, is a person who, if he sees a murder, must execute one himself).

Beattie, who hails from Australia, wrote the family pic “Joey” for Village Roadshow Pictures. He also penned the 1999 Cannes film “Kick,” which starred Paul Mercurio.

Beattie is repped by Innovative Artists and manager Chris Ridenhour of Tavel Entertainment; his attorney is Joan Vento of Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil and Shapiro.

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