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Ratner hoists heist movie

Imagine Entertainment has set Brett Ratner to direct an untitled heist drama being planned as a screen vehicle for Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock. Writers Adam Cooper and Bill Collage are negotiating to write the screenplay. Brian Grazer will produce. The project will mark Imagine’s second heist movie at Universal, with the Spike Lee-directed drama “The Inside Man” currently in production with Denzel Washington, Clive Owen and Jodie Foster. The new project, about a couple of blue-collar guys who aspire to pull off the perfect heist, will be played for laughs. The plot came out of a meeting between Grazer and Murphy, who’ve collaborated in the past on such pics as “The Nutty Professor” and “Bowfinger.” Murphy hatched the idea and expressed a desire to work with Rock, who is coming off “The Longest Yard” and voicing “Madagascar.” They enlisted Ratner, who’s directed buddy comedies “Rush Hour” and “Money Talks.”

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