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New Line nabs Peter Morgan heist pic

Simon Kinberg will produce; adds to growing list of high-profile projects

New Line Cinema has acquired a new untitled heist film written by Peter Morgan (“The Queen”) that will be produced by Simon Kinberg through his Genre Films banner.

Insiders tell Variety that the character-driven story is set in America and features two strong male leads in the vein of “Heat” and “The Departed.”

Brit scribe Morgan developed the script with Kinberg after meeting him in London, where Kinberg produced “X-Men: First Class.” Several studios were in the mix but New Line topper Toby Emmerich aggressively went after the project. Emmerich and New Line execs Richard Brener and Walter Hamada are overseeing the project for the company.

In little more than a year, Kinberg has become one of the more prolific producers in Hollywood, as well as 20th Century Fox’s producer for action and genre films. He co-wrote and produced 20th Century Fox’s upcoming action comedy “This Means War” and produced the studio’s adaptation of “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” Kinberg, who’s also writing and producing the “X-Men: First Class” sequel as well as producing Luke Greenfield’s upcoming action comedy for Fox, just signed on to produce Fox’s action thriller “Narco Sub,” which Tony Scott is attached to direct from a script by David Guggenheim.

Outside of Fox, Kinberg is producing Sony’s Neill Blomkamp-directed sci-fi epic “Elysium” and Disney’s Aline Brosh McKenna-scripted “Cinderella” project.

Morgan is the award-winning scribe behind “The Queen,” “The Last King of Scotland,” “Frost/Nixon” and “Hereafter.” Scribe, who exec produced “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” recently wrote Fernando Meirelles’ “360.” Morgan also wrote Ron Howard’s upcoming racing pic “Rush” and co-wrote New Line’s serial killer thriller “Solace,” to which “360” thesp Anthony Hopkins is attached to star. Morgan is currently scripting GK Films’ biopic of late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury.

New Line is currently searching for a director on “San Andreas 3D,” a big-budget disaster movie about an earthquake that devastates California. Company’s next release will be Garry Marshall’s romantic comedy “New Year’s Eve” on Dec. 9.

Morgan is repped by UTA, Independent Talent Group and attorney Alan Hergott, while CAA and attorney Karl Austen rep Kinberg.