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‘Lanes’ gain is Jackson

Psycho-drama to be directed by 'Notting Hill' helmer Michell

Samuel L. Jackson is in advanced negotiations to topline “Changing Lanes” for Paramount Pictures.

The move would repeat the successful pairing of Jackson and Rudin, who, respectively, toplined and produced Par’s $70 million domestic grosser, “Shaft.”

Helmed by “Notting Hill” helmer Roger Michell, psycho-drama “Changing Lanes” tells the story of a lawyer and a businessman whose chance involvement in a small traffic accident escalates to terrifying levels, culminating in an all-out mano-a-mano battle between them.

Ben Affleck, who’ll soon appear in Miramax’s “Bounce” and the Mouse House’s “Pearl Harbor,” will play the well-heeled attorney; Jackson is to play a sort of Everyman businessman with whom he is locked in combat over the fender-bender.

Jackson, who’s currently in London for the U.K. preem of “Shaft” (and who’ll accept a Lifetime Achievement Award when the Deauville Festival unspools next week), has most recently appeared in Par’s “Rules of Engagement.” He is also starring in the Artist Production Group / Alliance Atlantis production of “The 51st State,” which wraps in late November. He will then segue to “Lanes,” which begins lensing immediately after.

Jackson is repped by International Creative Management’s senior veepee of motion picture talent Toni Howard, and by attorney Debbie Klein. He is managed by Elie Selden and Julie Silverman-Yorn at Artists Management Group.

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