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Osment energizes Frankenstein project

'Sixth Sense' thesp to star in 'Wake the Dead'

With the half-dozen or so Frankenstein-themed projects shuffling around Hollywood, it looks like “Wake the Dead” is getting up off the gurney quickest, with Haley Joel Osment set to star.

Jay Russell will helm the modern-day horror pic based on the graphic novels by Steven Niles, with Osment playing Victor Franklin, a college student experimenting with reversing death.

Russell and Jim Hart adapted the script, and former Guns ‘n’ Roses lead guitarist Slash will produce with Michael Williams and Rob Eric through Slasher Films. Shaun Redick and Ray Mansfield will exec produce.

Though it seems that just about every studio has something in the works stemming from Mary Shelley’s gothic tale, Osment’s is the first known casting. The “Sixth Sense” thesp, who’s been on hiatus while working on his college degree, will finish shooting the indie “Sassy Pants” before moving to “Dead,” which begins production this fall.

“This role allows him to break out of his shell and he will have no problem handling it,” Eric said.

Variety first reported last week that Fox was cooking up a Frankenstein pic with Max Landis penning the script. Directors circling the project include Ron Howard, Paul Greengrass and David Yates.

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