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Liam Neeson in talks for ‘A-Team’

Actor negotiating for 'Hannibal' role in Fox film

Liam Neeson is in negotiations with 20th Century Fox to star in its long-gestating bigscreen adaptation of “The A-Team” as Col. John “Hannibal” Smith. Bradley Cooper is in early talks to play Lt. Templeton “Faceman” Peck in the Joe Carnahan-directed pic based on the 1980s TV series.

Production begins in late August for a June 11, 2010, release.

Ridley Scott is producing with Jules Daly and series creator Stephen J. Cannell, with Tony Scott exec producing through Scott Free. Carnahan and Brian Bloom polished a script by Skip Woods, whose recent script credits include “G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra” and “Wolverine.”

Neeson is in talks to play Hannibal, the role originated by George Peppard, while Cooper would play “Faceman,” the role played by Dirk Benedict.

Neeson and Fox are working out money issues. He is coming off the global hit “Taken” and most recently completed “Chloe” and “Clash of the Titans,” playing Zeus in the latter.

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Cooper has established himself as a commodity after his starring role in Todd Phillips-directed hit “The Hangover.” He just completed playing the title role opposite Sandra Bullock in “All About Steve.”

Carnahan, Fox and Scott Free have kept the series premise — four war vets wrongly convicted of armed robbery escape from a military prison to become do-gooder mercenaries — but they’ve replaced the campy nature of the series with a tone closer to those of “Mission: Impossible” and “Ocean’s Eleven.”

Still to be cast are the roles of Capt. “Howling Mad” Murdock, played by Dwight Schultz in the original, and Sgt. “B.A.” Baracus, the role that made Mr. T an ’80s icon.

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