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May 26, 2009

Al Pacino in talks to play Kevorkian

80355573 By Borys Kit

Al Pacino is in negotiations to star in "You Don't Know Jack," an HBO Films biopic about Dr. Jack Kevorkian that Barry Levinson will direct.

Kevorkian, also known as Dr. Death, assisted in more than 150 cases of suicide and had beaten the state court system in Michigan numerous times, but was finally convicted after he willingly sent a videotape of himself euthanizing a terminally ill man to "60 Minutes." He was convicted of second-degree murder in 1999 and is serving his sentence in a maximum-security prison in Michigan.

The film will trace his rise as he builds his infamous "Mercy Machine," conducts his first assisted suicide, and starts a media frenzy with his epic legal battles defending a patient's right to die.

Adam Mazer ("Breach") wrote the script, which is loosely based on "Between the Dying and the Dead: Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the Assisted Suicide Machine and the Battle to Legalize Euthanasia" by Neal Nicol.

Levinson is exec producing along with Steven L. Jones, Lydia Dean Pilcher and Glenn Rigberg.

The project has been in development for some time, with Ben Kingsley once attached to play Kevorkian.

Levinson, repped by ICM, last directed "What Just Happened?" while CAA-repped Pacino's last outing was "Righteous Kill."

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