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Saturday 20th March, 2004
Brad Pitt is gunning for a new role by roping himself the role of outlaw Jesse James in a big-screen version of the Robert Hansen book "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford".
The flick tells the tale of Jesse James, through the eyes of his killer, Robert Ford, a young member of the James Gang who at first worshipped America's most notorious gunslinger but then sought to usurp him.

The western is a co-production between Pitt's Warner Bros.-based Plan B, which he runs with actress-wife Jennifer Aniston, and Scott Free Productions, Ridley Scott's company. It will be adapted and directed by Andrew Dominik, an Aussie filmmaker who caught the attention of Hollywood with his gritty 2000 debut, Chopper.

After a railroad agent murdered their mother, Jesse and brother Frank took to robbing trains and banks for a living. The exploits of the James Gang soon became legendary and the public regarded the boys as heroes.

But it all came to an end when Ford betrayed the quick-shooting, ill-tempered Jesse and shot him in the back. Ford thought the move would win him acclaim; instead, he became regarded as a coward.

Filming won't begin until Dominik finishes a new draft of the script and finishes his current project, the Paramount sci-fi flick "The Demolished Man", and Pitt clears his calendar.

Pitt recently donned a toga as Greek hero Achilles in director Wolfgang Petersen's Troy, due out May 14. He begins work next month on Ocean's Twelve, the sequel to the 2001 blockbuster caper Ocean's Eleven. That film is slated for a December release.

After that, Pitt is eyeing a role opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese 's Infernal Affairs, Warner Bros.' English-language remake of a Hong Kong gangster trilogy.

"Is this beard the pitts or what?"

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