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Hallstrom plays ‘Catch’

Pic to be produced by Bungalow 78

Lasse Hallstrom is in negotiations to direct “Catch Me If You Can” for DreamWorks, with Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role. A March start is planned.

Pic will be produced by Barry Kemp, via his Bungalow 78 Prods., and Michel Shane and Anthony Romano’s Magellan Filmed Entertainment. Bungalow 78’s Devorah Moos-Hankin serves as co-producer.

Penned by Jeff Nathanson (“Rush Hour”) and adapted from the memoirs of con man Frank Abagnale Jr., “Catch Me” had previously been eyed by helmers such as Gore Verbinski and David Fincher.

“Catch Me” tells the true tale of Abagnale, a charming young impostor who impersonated so many people and kited so many checks between 1964 and 1966 that he earned the distinction of being the only teen ever on the FBI’s 10 most wanted list.

Among Abagnale’s ploys were passing himself off as a Pan Am co-pilot (which allowed him to fly more than 2 million miles for free), as well as the chief resident pediatrician at a Georgia hospital, Louisiana’s assistant attorney general and a professor of American history at a French university. By the time he was caught. Abagnale wrote $6 million in bad checks in all 50 states and in 26 foreign countries.

Hallstrom, who is currently helming “The Shipping News” for Miramax Films, is repped by UTA. DiCaprio is managed by AMG.

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