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Tommy Lee Jones in talks for Besson’s ‘Malavita’

Thesp would play FBI agent in comedic actioner

Tommy Lee Jones is preparing to move from one secretive agency to another, as the “Men in Black 3” star is in final negotiations to play an FBI agent in Luc Besson’s darkly comedic actioner “Malavita,” which will be released Stateside by Relativity Media.

Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer star as a married couple with Mafia ties who relocate to France under the witness protection program. While they do their best to fit in, old habits die hard and they soon find themselves handling things the “family” way.

Jones is making a deal to play De Niro’s stern handler in the FBI-sponsored program, who checks in on the family and tries to help them assimilate to their new life overseas.

Based on Tonino Benacquista’s book “Badfellas,” pic is the first in a recent co-production and co-financing deal between Relativity Media and Besson’s EuropaCorp. Besson adapted the script with Michael Caleo (“The Sopranos”), and he’ll also produce the pic, which starts production in August in advance of a 2013 bow.

Jones, who is coming off back-to-back blockbusters “Captain America” and “Men in Black 3,” next stars opposite Meryl Streep in Sony’s martial dramedy “Hope Springs.” Thesp also co-stars in Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” and Peter Webber’s Japan-set drama “Emperor.” Additionally, Jones is set to write, direct, produce and topline the indie period pic “The Homesman,” which EuropaCorp is considering producing, financing and distributing internationally.

Jones is repped by CAA and attorneys William Jacobson and Dale de la Torre of Jacobson, Russell, Saltz & Fingerman.

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