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Braga, Rourke, Cassel join ‘Minutes’

Actors to star in adaptation of Coehlo novel

Alice Braga, Mickey Rourke and Vincent Cassel are set to star in “11 Minutes,” an adaptation of the steamy Paulo Coehlo novel that will be directed by Hany Abu-Assad.

Hollywood Gang’s Gianni Nunnari is producing, with Craig J. Flores and George Waud as exec producers. Shooting begins June 1 in Brazil and Geneva.

Braga plays a naive girl who is betrayed by her first lover and swears off romance. She becomes a high-priced call girl who works at an upscale gentlemen’s club in Geneva. Cassel plays a music exec who gets her hooked on S&M. Rourke plays the club owner.

Italian heartthrob Riccardo Scamarcio is in talks to round out the cast.

The book was a global bestseller translated into 40 languages. Abu-Assad, who made his film breakthrough with “Paradise Now,” has rewritten a script by Marcos Bernstein.

Hollywood Gang will fully finance.

Braga just completed the Universal sci-fi thriller “Repossession Mambo.” Rourke is coming off “The Wrestler” and is negotiating to play the villain in “Iron Man 2.” Cassel was seen in “Eastern Promises” and just won the acting Cesar for French pic “Public Enemy Number One.” Scamarcio is coming off the Costa-Gavras-directed “Eden a l’ouest.”

For Hollywood Gang, “11 Minutes” becomes one of four 2009 production starts. It produced, with GK Films, the Martin Scorsese-directed “Shutter Island,” set for release in the fall. It’s in pre-production on WB sci-fi film “The Days Before,” with Timur Bekmambetov directing, and on the Tarsem-directed “War of Gods” with Relativity. Also, Hollywood Gang and GK are plotting an April production start for the Scorsese-directed “Silence.”

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