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Akiva Goldsman likely to be pronounced director on 'Man and Wife'

March 17, 2010 |  5:24 pm

EXCLUSIVE: Akiva Goldsman won't be directing "Paranormal Activity 2." But the prolific writer of "Angels & Demons" and "A Beautiful Mind" looks like he could be making his feature directorial debut with another movie.

Akiva The Oscar winner is in serious discussions to come on board as a director on Fox's "Man and Wife," an action movie with "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" overtones (a movie that Goldsman, incidentally, produced). No formal deal is in place yet, but sources say the parties are close.[UPDATE, 6:02 p.m. -- We're now hearing it's official and he is attached to direct.]

The movie, which is based on a spec script the studio bought a couple of years ago, is being produced by "X-Men" producer Ralph Winter as well as Peter Chernin's new production company. It tackles the story of a seemingly ordinary husband who's actually a professional hit man (and what happens as his wife begins to suspect something is amiss).

Noted writers sometimes make the switch to the director's chair, often with stellar results. Charlie Kaufman did pretty much that with the criminally underappreciated "Synecdoche, N.Y.," and Stephen Gaghan made the transition smoothly with "Syriana." There's reason to think Goldsman, a producer on seemingly half the big-budget fare in Hollywood -- movies like "Hancock," "The Losers," and "Jonah Hex," will attempt to do the same here.

The spec was written by Alan McElroy, who also wrote the Oscar fare that was "The Marine." Then again, Winter has some big franchises under his belt. And the movie also shares part of its conceit with "True Lies," a Fox hit from back in the '90s that was -- oh, yes -- directed by one James Cameron. 

— Steven Zeitchik

Photo: Akiva Goldsman. Credit: Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times

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