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Industry Roundup: Johnny Depp May Join Tom Hanks in Sleeping Dogs

Dynamic Duo: Kathryn Bigelow is courting Johnny Depp to star alongside Tom Hanks in Sleeping Dogs (previously known as Triple Frontier), her follow-up to The Hurt Locker. Hurt Locker scribe Mark Boal’s script — set in the “organized crime haven” existing in the border zone between Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil — has five central roles, but two of them (which Hanks and Depp would take) are considered major leads. Deadline says Depp “likes the role,” but must work out scheduling issues in order to make it work, as he's preparing to start production on Tim Burton's Dark Shadows in February. Considering the strength of Burton and Depp's intense BFF bond, Bigelow may have her work cut out for her here. [Deadline]

McQueen's Dream: Anthony Peckham (Book of Eli, Invictus) will write Yucatan as a starring vehicle for Robert Downey Jr. The film, which Warner Bros. has been looking to make for about five years now, centers on a “renegade deep-sea salvage expert” hired to retrieve a “mysterious hidden treasure” deep underwater in Mayan ruins. The project is based on a story by Steve McQueen, who produced 1,500 pages of notes and storyboards for the project, which he had "very much wanted to star in." [Deadline]

Ray's Secret: Billy Ray (Shattered Glass) has been tapped to write and direct a new version of the Argentinean thriller The Secret in Their Eyes for Warner Bros. The 2009 Juan Jose Campanella film, adapted from Eduardo Sacheri’s novel, won the foreign-language Oscar in March. The film follows a retired criminal investigator in Buenos Aires in 2000 who is writing a novel in an attempt to help cope with an unresolved rape and murder from 1974 that “still haunts him.” Ray’s version, however, will be re-set to take place in the United States in present day. [HR]

Two Enter Ledge: Edward Burns and Genesis Rodriguez have joined the cast of the thriller Man on a Ledge, the Asger Leth film about a fugitive ex-cop (Sam Worthington) who is about to jump off of a high-rise building while a NYPD hostage negotiator (Elizabeth Banks) tries to talk him down. Burns will play a rival negotiator, who “tries to swoop in” when he believes Banks has a conflict of interest. Rodriguez will play the girlfriend of cast member Jamie Bell, who, with Bell, attempts to prove Worthington’s innocence. [HR]

Party Time
: Ben Silverman, the former NBC co-chair, has sold a comedy pitch to the network he used to call home. NBC has picked up his Party People, an ensemble comedy about entertainers who work at parties for children. The project is said to have the tone of a “modern-day Taxi.” David Bickel (King of Queens) will write and executive produce. [HR]

Au Pair
Scare
: Dana Stevens (City of Angels, Life or Something Like It) will write The Au Pair, an adaptation of Goosebumps author R.L. Stine’s The Sitter. The film follows a young woman who flees a troubled relationship by spending a summer as a nanny in a Hamptons beach house. Things take a dark turn, however, when she discovers a secret that "haunts her and the kids she's sworn to protect." [Heat Vision/HR]

Photo: Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images