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Charlize Theron is negotiating to star alongside Mark Wahlberg in “The Italian Job,” the F. Gary Gray-directed heist drama which Paramount will begin shooting in August.

Scripted by Donna and Wayne Powers, “The Italian Job” is based on the 1969 pic, which starred Michael Caine, Benny Hill and Noel Coward. Donald De Line produces and Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan are exec producers.

The contemporized version will shoot in Italy and Los Angeles and will be a grittier drama than was the original, which had comedic elements. Consistent in both films is the presence of the speedy but miniscule Mini Cooper sports cars, a line BMW recently bought and revived, just in time to be the centerpiece of the new film.

Wahlberg plays career criminal Charlie Croker, who masterminds a massive gold bullion heist that is made possible when the crooks create the largest traffic jam in L.A. history. With the highways effectively turned into parking lots, the thieves are able to get around by using Mini Coopers that can drive over sidewalks, stairways and even subway tunnels.

UTA-repped Theron would play the daughter of Croker’s former partner. She enlists in the heist and proves to be a gifted safecracker and driver.