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Intermedia drama has Fraser in ‘Quiet’ mood

Caine could join thesp in adaptation of Greene Viet novel

Brendan Fraser is in final negotiations to topline “The Quiet American” for Intermedia Films.

Based on Graham Greene’s 1955 Vietnam-based thriller, the project will be produced by Sony-based Mirage Enterprises’ Sydney Pollack, Bill Horberg and Anthony Minghella.

Michael Caine, who this year took home the Oscar for his supporting perf in “The Cider House Rules,” is also in advanced talks to co-star, according to an insider.

Lensing is slated to begin in January in Australia and Vietnam from a new draft from Christopher Hampton (“Dangerous Liaisons”).

Phillip Noyce (“The Bone Collector”), who’d been developing the pic at Paramount in the late 1990s, will helm.

A novel prescient of the quagmire that would become Vietnam, “Quiet American” concerns a cynical British opium addict’s increasing resentment of American colonialism in the region. That anger is played out as he vies against a young American for the affections of a Vietnamese beauty.

While MGM has a first-look option on the project — stemming back to when Pollack first optioned the project from UA, which had released the 1958 Joseph Mankiewicz-helmed version of the novel — it’s unclear which studio will ultimately distribute the pic domestically.

Paramount Pictures had been developing the picture with Noyce in 1997 but balked at defraying its then hefty budget.

After a star turn in 1999 mega-grosser “The Mummy,” Fraser will soon appear in 20th Century Fox pics “Bedazzled” and “Monkeybone.” He will then mount the boards in the West End in August 2001 in Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot a Tin Roof.”

Fraser is repped by CAA, Caine by ICM.

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