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Johnny Depp Eyes South American Crime Thriller ‘Triple Frontier’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Johnny Depp may be returning to the dark corners of the smuggling world, this time in South America. Sources tell Variety that while a deal is still far away, the “Black Mass” actor is in early talks to star in Paramount’s crime thriller “Triple Frontier.”

The studio had no comment.

Depp, who recently earned a SAG nomination for playing mobster Whitey Bulger in “Black Mass,” hasn’t yet committed to the project but is said to be engaged again in the organized crime thriller. The actor initially showed interest in the script when Kathryn Bigelow (“Zero Dark Thirty”) was involved. J.C. Chandor (“A Most Violent Year”) is now directing the film.

The long-gestating project, an ensemble thriller, also has an offer out to Tom Hanks. Will Smith had an offer but had to move on because of scheduling with his next film “Collatetal Beauty.”

Bigelow’s producing partner Mark Boal wrote the script with Charles Roven and Alex Gartner of Atlas Entertainment producing.

The film is set in the notorious border zone between Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil where the Iguazu and Parana rivers converge — making “la triple frontera” difficult to monitor and a haven for organized crime.

Depp, who recently wrapped Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” has a handful of films set to bow in 2016 including Kevin Smith’s “Yoga Hosers,” which bows at Sundance and “Alice Through the Looking Glass.”

He is repped by UTA.

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