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    Tom Cruise Targets Denzel Washington

    Tom Cruise, Denzel Washington Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images, Nancy Kaszerman/ZUMAPress.com

    There are big-screen pairings and then there are Big-Screen Pairings. Tom Cruise and Denzel Washington definitely fall into the latter.

    The Hollywood heavyweights will join their considerable forces for an action-packed adaptation of The Matarese Circle, a spy-vs.-spy thriller based on the novel by Robert "Bourne Identity" Ludlum.

    A rep for MGM confirms to E! News that Cruise is in final negotiations to join Washington in the would-be blockbuster, which David Cronenberg will direct. Should all go according to box-office plan, the film may develop into a franchise.

    The story follows Russian spy Vasili Taleniekov (Cruise; let's hope no accents are required) and American intelligence agent Brandon Scofield (Washington), two mortal enemies who have spent decades attempting to off each other. The distrustful duo are eventually forced to team up after they find themselves deep into the crosshairs of a political conspiracy devised by a shadowy group known as the Matarese.

    Washington has been attached to the globe-trotting action flick since last spring, and production is expected to begin later this year.

    MGM is looking to release the film sometime in 2010.

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