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Paramount Pictures is in negotiations with British director Paul Greengrass (“The Bourne Supremacy”) to helm vigilante action-adventure “The Watchmen,” with Larry Gordon and Lloyd Levin producing.

Project will based on the DC Comics series of the same name, originally published in 1986. Scripter David Hayter (“X-Men”) signed a seven-figure deal at Universal three years ago to adapt the series.

Story, set in the 1950s, launches with a seemingly ordinary man putting on superhero garb to track down criminals. He’s joined by those similarly inclined until a law is passed forcing them out of crimefighting; years later, several of his crimefighting associates are mysteriously murdered.

“The Watchmen,” written as a 12-part series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, achieved cult status in the comicbook world for its adult sensibility and post-modern view of superheroes.

Greengrass has been in demand recently for action projects following the solid performance of “The Bourne Supremacy,” which topped $175 million domestically for Universal. He also helmed “Bloody Sunday.”

Gordon and Levin have been producers on “Hellboy,” both “Lara Croft” movies, “K-PAX” and “Mystery Men.” They’re both attached as producers on “The Six Million Dollar Man” and the “Hellboy” sequel.

Paramount exec VP Alli Shearmur is overseeing “The Watchmen” for the studio.