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Scorsese takes on Hong Kong gangs

Pitt considering role in popular 'Infernal' redo

The director of “Gangs of New York” is now taking aim at the gangs of Hong Kong.

Martin Scorsese has just finished with Howard Hughes biopic “The Aviator” for Warner Bros. Pictures, IEG and Miramax Films, and his reps are now busily negotiating to make “Infernal Affairs” his next picture at Warner Bros.

Based on the trilogy of Chinese-lingo gangster pics of the same name (“Wu jian dao”), “Infernal” will be produced by Scorsese as well as Brad Grey, Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt’s Plan B shingle. Insiders say Pitt is considering a starring role.

Set in the midst of an intractable battle between the Hong Kong police and the triads that rule the area, original pic follows a cop who’s been assigned to work undercover inside the gangs and who’s risen to a fairly senior level.

Simultaneously, a secret member of the same powerful criminal gang has infiltrated the police force with an equal measure of luck and success.

English-lingo script for “Infernal” is being penned by William Monahan, who’s also written the script to Ridley Scott’s upcoming Crusades-era “Kingdom of Heaven” at Fox, “Mazar e Sharif” at Sony’s Columbia Pictures, “Tripoli” at Fox again and “Jurassic Park IV” at Universal.

It’s unclear how, or even if, Miramax Films, with whom Scorsese teamed on “Gangs of New York” and “Aviator,” might be involved with “Affairs.” Mini-major had purchased the North American and selected international distribution rights to all three Chinese-lingo actioners in the “Infernal Affairs” series in October (Daily Variety, Oct. 22).

Together with a subsequently released prequel, “Infernal Affairs” broke box office records in Hong Kong and spawned a third pic released last year.

Scorsese and Monahan are both repped in the deal by Endeavor. Pitt, who toplines the Homeric epic “Troy” at Warners, is repped by CAA and Brillstein-Grey Entertainment.

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