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Johnny Depp making film about poisoned Russian spy; Columbia Pictures plans rival movie

By Carolyn E. Price     Jan 13, 2007 in Entertainment
In a scene reminiscent of the duelling ones in the "Pirates" movies, Depp's production company races against Michael Mann for 1st Litvinenko movie release.
On one side, Warner Brothers has bought the rights to a book about Alexander Litvinenko for Johnny Depp's production company, Infinitum Nihal. Depp will produce the film and is considering a starring role. Depp is well-known for taking on odd ball roles like the ones he played in "Pirates of the Carribean", "Finding Neverland" and "Edward Scissorhands".
On the other side, Columbia Pictures has bought the rights to a book being co-written by Litvinenko's widow. Michael Mann is set to produce this project. Mann is well-known for his crime based movies ``Collateral,'' ``Heat'' and ``Miami Vice".
Alexander Litvinenko was an agent in the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), formerly known as the KGB. After breaking away from the FSB, he was granted asylum in Britain where he had become somewhat of a thorn in the great Russian bear's side, criticizing the government and writing books. Last November, he was poisoned with a radioactive isotope called polonium-210 and in a deathbed statement, he blamed the Russian government for his death.
The British are currently investigating his death.
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