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Actors line up for ‘Freaky’ Elmore Leonard tale

Matt Dillon, Brendan Fraser, Craig Robinson to star in crime adaptation

EXCLUSIVE: Matt Dillon, Brendan Fraser and Craig Robinson are attached to star in Charles Matthau’s adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s crime novel “Freaky Deaky.”

Dillon will topline as Chris Mankowski, an LAPD bomb squad officer who stumbles upon a plot by two former hippie activists who plan to use their bomb-making skills to trick an alcoholic movie mogul into handing over millions of dollars.

Fraser will play Skip Gibbs, one of the former activists who has parlayed his skills into a career as a Hollywood pyrotechnics artist and demolition expert.

William H. Macy has already committed to play Woody Ricks, the hard-partying Hollywood mogul, while Robinson will play Donnell Lewis, a former Black Panther turned capitalist who serves as his assistant.

Matthau adapted Leonard’s favorite book, though his script takes plenty of dramatic liberties, including changing the Detroit-set story’s period setting from the late ’80s to 1974, a decision Leonard supported.

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Matthau will produce for The Matthau Company, whose Judd Rubin will co-produce. Exec producers include Tom Ortenberg, Mike Meltzer, Donald Zuckerman, Steven M. Berez and Leonard, along with Eyde Studios’ George Eyde, Lew Eyde and Nathaniel Eyde.

Robert Cantrell will oversee the project on behalf of Eyde.

Voltage Pictures is handling foreign sales, and producers are in talks with several U.S. distributors.

Matthau is currently in Los Angeles working with casting director Nancy Nayor to cast the female lead.

Production is scheduled to start this June in Michigan.

Rights to Leonard’s novel have passed through Quentin Tarantino, Richard Brooks and John Malkovich over the years.

Dillon, who recently starred in two Screen Gems action pics, “Armored” and “Takers,” is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment.

Robinson, who stars on NBC’s “The Office,” recently wrapped the Lionsgate comedy “We the Peeples.” Thesp is also starring in and exec producing “Rapturepalooza” for the studio. He is repped by UTA and 3 Arts Entertainment.

Fraser is repped by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.

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