17 March 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Christopher Walken, nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar for his work in DreamWorks' Catch Me If You Can, is in negotiations to star in Man on Fire for Regency Enterprises, Fox 2000 and helmer Tony Scott. Walken joins Denzel Washington and Dakota Fanning in the project, which is based on the A.J. Quinnell novel and adapted by Brian Helgeland. Fire centers on an American ex-soldier (Washington) living out his days in Mexico. An old friend by the name of Reyburn (Walken) persuades the ex-soldier to protect a child, Pinta Balletto (Fanning), whose parents are threatened by a rash of kidnappings. Regency declined comment on the deal. Scott Free Prods. is producing the project, with credits going to Scott, Regency's Arnon Milchan and Lucas Foster. At the studios, the project is being overseen by Regency's Sanford Panitch along with Fox 2000's Elizabeth Gabler. For Scott Free, production president Lisa Ellzey is overseeing. Walken is repped by ICM. His role in the Steven Spielberg-directed Catch recently landed him a SAG Award for best supporting actor. He currently costars in Poolhall Junkies and next stars in DreamWorks' Envy and an untitled action project opposite the Rock at Universal Pictures.

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