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Monday, September 8, 2008

'Inside Man' sequel moving forward

By Steven Zeitchik,Hollywood Reporter
September 6,2008

A sequel to Spike Lee's "Inside Man" is moving forward at Universal, with Terry George in negotiations to write the screenplay and Lee coming back to direct the Brian Grazer-produced pic.

"Inside Man 2," as the project is tentatively being called, will pick up on the characters and dynamic but not the storyline of the original. The first "Inside Man," which was penned by Russell Gewirtz, centered on a standoff between a bank robber (Clive Owens) and a hostage negotiator (Denzel Washington) at a New York bank.

Lee says he foresees that the new film will continue the relationship between the two main characters but in a new high-tension situation. "I want the script to be even better than Russell's, and Russell wrote a really good script," he said.

The news cements long-floating rumors that Universal was looking to reprise the alchemy of the indie fave Lee with the studio budget and marketing apparatus of Universal.

The original "Inside Man," also from Universal, scored Lee his biggest opening weekend, and went on to earn more than $175 million worldwide when it was released in the spring of 2006.

Grazer will produce "Inside Man 2" via his Imagine Entertainment banner, with Lee and Daniel Rosenberg exec producing.

Denzel Washington and Clive Owen are interested in re-teaming for the project, Lee said, speaking from the Toronto International Film Festival, where he was in town to promote the Babelgum Online Film Festival as well as his upcoming WWII pic "Miracle at St. Anna."

The Endeavor-repped George is the writer-director of prestige dramas such as "Hotel Rwanda" and the scribe on "In the Name of the Father."

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