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D’Works has the ‘Rat’ stuff

Russell to turn pages of CrossGen comicbook

Frank Darabont’s Darkwoods Prods. and Castle Rock Prods. have set up “Way of the Rat” at DreamWorks, with Chuck Russell directing.

Russell is adapting the “Way of the Rat” screenplay from the eponymous CrossGen comicbook, a martial arts action-adventure set in Hong Kong that involves a young and acrobatic hero, a wise-talking monkey and a princess who’s handy with blades.

“Way of the Rat” tops an active Darkwoods development slate, but Darabont hopes his next directorial project is one he won’t produce, “Fahrenheit 451.”

As soon as he finishes writing “Indiana Jones 4,” Darabont plans to begin adapting Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451,” which will be produced by Mel Gibson’s Icon Prods. and Castle Rock.

“I would love to do that next,” Darabont told Daily Variety, “especially since Ray is still with us.” The famed sci-fi author is 82.

Darabont also has a number of Darkwoods projects to occupy him and he has promoted two staff members, who are based at the Lot in Hollywood.

Anna Garduno, who worked with Darabont on “The Green Mile” and was associate producer on “The Majestic,” was promoted to production prexy and Darkwoods partner. In addition, Denise Huth was promoted to VP of production.

In pipeline

Darkwoods and longtime collaborator Castle Rock, where Darabont has a first-look deal, continue to work on a number of other projects. These include “Runt of the Litter,” based on the one-man show created by Larry Moss and Bo Eason, and “Mine,” a femme-driven thriller that Darabont adapted from the novel by Robert R. McCammon.

Darkwoods is also developing “Doc Savage,” based on the series of pulp novel by Kenneth Robeson and adapted by David Johnson. Russell was once attached to direct. Darabont says it’s unlikely that he would direct this project and he would seek a devoted action helmer for the piece.