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Fishburne to direct, star in 'Alchemist'

Actor Laurence Fishburne, nominated for his work in the play Thurgood, arrives for the Meet the Tony Award Nominees luncheon at the Hilton Hotel in New York on May 14, 2008. (UPI Photo/Ezio Petersen)
Actor Laurence Fishburne, nominated for his work in the play "Thurgood", arrives for the Meet the Tony Award Nominees luncheon at the Hilton Hotel in New York on May 14, 2008. (UPI Photo/Ezio Petersen) | License Photo

CANNES, France, May 19 (UPI) -- Laurence Fishburne is set to direct, produce and star in a movie version of the novel "The Alchemist," The Weinstein Co. announced at the Cannes Film Festival.

The studio said it will have exclusive worldwide motion picture and television rights for the

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adaptation of Paulo Coelho's 1988 novel.

Harvey Weinstein is also producing the film and has begun to scout locations for the production, which is expected to be shot in Europe and the Middle East.

A search in Spain and Latin America for an actor to play the pivotal role of Santiago will start shortly, while other stars are expected to be announced to round out the cast, TWC said.

"Personally producing a project is rare for me but bringing 'The Alchemist' to the screen has been my dream," Weinstein said in a statement. "It is a spiritual and moving story and I am thrilled to be working side by side with Laurence. The pieces are now in place to jump start this project and we are eager to get going."

Fishburne's on-screen credits include "Akeelah and the Bee," the "Matrix" trilogy, "What's Love Got to Do With It" and "Mystic River."

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