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Aside from that Mrs. Lincoln, How Was the Play?

Fishbowl has learned that the new Harrison Ford Civil War thriller “Manhunt” is going with a southern American as it’s director. Very southern American, he’s Ecuadorian: Sebastian Cordero, who last directed “Cronicas” with John Leguizamo starring is in final negotiations to get his big break directing Ford as the Civil War hero Col. Everton Conger, who lead the search for President Lincoln‘s assassin.

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(Okay, it’s an Amish/”Witness” still. But still close enough to the 19th century for what you’re paying to read this.)

“Manhunt” is produced by Lawrence Bender, the “Pulp Fiction” producer who more recently went way south of the border to produce the fascinating-but-largely-ignored “Innocent Voices” – last year’s Luis Mandoki-directed film about a young Salvadoran boy forced to decide between joining up with Sandinista rebels or the army.

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Bender, pictured above, has seen his stature in Hollywood shrink as the heady success of “Pulp Fiction” subsided. In fact, now only 24 inches tall, he is pictured above summoning the will to order a drink from a booth at Montmartre.

We digress. Anyway, making us a little nervous, screenwriter Mike Rich (“Radio,” “The Rookie,” and Disney’s forthcoming Mark Wahlberg gridiron movie, “Invincible”) is writing the “Manhunt” screenplay. We can already fearfully imagine the athletic anachronisms:

Col. Conger: Listen to me, Corporal! We’re on the one-yard line of finding this Wilkes-Booth sonofabitch. Don’t tell me there’s a flag on the play! Some people try to find things in this game that don’t exist but football is only two things – blocking and tackling.

Corporal Jenkins; Um, yeah. I mean ‘Yes, sir.’ But what about the treeline, sir? There’s no cover!

Col. Conger: Soldier, sometimes, at fourth and one, you have to ask yourself, “Are we kickin’, or stickin’?” And we’re stickin’!

Nevertheless, the picture is expected to start shooting this winter, financed by Walden Media, which has a distribution deal with Twentieth Century Fox.

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