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Mendes Now Femme Fatale for Miller's Spirit

Frank Miller has cast Eva Mendes (GHOST RIDER) as femme fatale Sand Saref in his screen adaptation of Will Eisner's THE SPIRIT, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Saref was The Spirit's teenager lover until the couple was ripped apart by the death of Sand's father at the hands of Spirit's uncle.

Cast already includes Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson and Gabriel Macht (upcoming WHITEOUT). Additionally, MATRIX's Bill Pope has been hired to bring the comic book world to life as the cinematographer.

THE SPIRIT is comic legend Will Eisner's story of a masked detective (Macht) believed to be dead and operating out of a mausoleum, fighting crime in the dark shadows of Central City with his fists, cunning and ingenious forms of punishment. Jackson will play the villain Octopus, a meek lab assistant who becomes a murderous crime kingpin in Central City. Johansson will play another dangerous beauty named Silken Floss.

Eisner's character first appeared in 1940 and ran as a comic strip for decades, many of which have been collected and reprinted in hardcover form by DC Comics in recent years.

New Mexico is where production will take place starting in October.

Producers include Odd Lot Ent.'s Deborah Del Prete and Gigi Pritzker and Batfilm's Michael Uslan. Exec producers are Batfilm co-founder Benjamin Melniker and Steve Maier. Odd Lot's Linda McDonough and Batfilm's F.J. DeSanto are co-producers.

Lionsgate plans to release the film in 2009.

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