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‘Witchblade’ swings without Stone at TNT

Telepic based on cult comic book

NEW YORK — TNT will begin production next week on “Witchblade,” an original telefilm based on the cult comic book of the same name, the cabler confirmed Wednesday.

Oliver Stone, who originally brought the project to the cabler as a series pilot, is no longer attached. Instead, Dan Halsted (“Any Given Sunday”), Stone’s former partner at Illusion Entertainment, will exec produce for Halsted Pictures, with Marc Silvestri exec producing for Top Cow Prods.

The two-hour telefilm from Warner Bros. Television will begin shooting Monday in Toronto and will air in October. Insiders said it has a good shot at being turned into a regular series.

Detective-cult yarn

The story of a New York detective whose search for justice brings her into contact with an ancient living weapon that can battle evil forces, “Witchblade” will star Yancy Butler (“Drop Zone”) and David Chokachi (“Baywatch”). Ralph Hemecker (“Millennium,” “X-Files”) will direct from a script by J.D. Zeik (“Ronin”).

Last month, in its first original series order, TNT picked up 13 episodes of “Bull,” a one-hour drama series from Warner Bros. that will begin production in April. The network, which announced its first original series development slate in August, is said to be close to starting production on other pilots, including “Breaking News,” a behind-the-scenes drama set at a 24-hour news station.

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