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Sunday November 05 08:48 PM EST
Depp waxes poetic as ‘Marlowe’

By Scott Roxborough

COLOGNE, Germany (The Hollywood Reporter) -- Johnny Depp has signed on to play the title role in “Marlowe,” the upcoming feature by British production firm Natural Nylon based on the life of 16th century poet and playwright Christopher Marlowe, according to the German firm Advanced Medien, which is co-financing the $20 million project.

Jude Law will also star. Law, together with British actors Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Sean Pertwee and Sadie Frost own and operate Natural Nylon.

Directed by John Maybury (“Love Is the Devil”), “Marlowe” is to start production in March in Italy and London. The film focuses on Marlowe’s relationship with William Shakespeare and is based on the long-argued academic theory that Marlowe wrote some of Shakespeare’s plays. The project is the first to come under Nylon’s first-look production and development deal with Canada’s Alliance Atlantis.

Depp’s reps at UTA could not be reached for comment Sunday.

In a separate announcement, Advanced said it will set up a Los Angeles-based subsidiary, Consolidated Film Works, for feature production together with production and FX group United Film Organization. Advanced controls 51% of UFO. Advanced said Consolidated will produce three or four low- to mid-budget features a year, starting with a $6 million romantic comedy tentatively titled “Snatched” starring Matthew Perry. Production for “Snatched” is set to start in February in New York.

Also planned is “Rapumentary,” a biopic on the life of rapper Tupac Shakur. Munich-based Advanced, which is listed on Frankfurt’s Neuer Markt, has a co-production agreement with director Wolfgang Peterson and co-financing agreements with producer Chuck Gordon and U.K. television group Granada.