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The Deal Report

+ Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Ruffalo are set to star in Reservation Road from director Terry George (Hotel Rwanda) . In the drama, the duo play dads facing serious issues after Phoenix's child is killed by Ruffalo in a hit-and-run. ''It is heavy,'' admits Ruffalo. ''And it's not always going to be fun on set.''

+ Destined to be way more upbeat: the CHiPs shoot. Wilmer Valderrama says he'll slip into the tight uniform of Officer Poncherello for a remake of the TV series. (No word on who'll play Officer Baker.) ''I grew up watching that show,'' enthuses Valderrama. '' Erik Estrada was a role model to me.'' M'kay.

+ On the other side of the law, Tony Soprano may bid arrivederci this spring, but James Gandolfini has inked a three-year producing deal with HBO. Upcoming projects include Hemingway, a biopic directed by Philip Kaufman (Quills), with Gandolfini as the novelist.

(Additional reporting by Carrie Bell)

Originally posted Aug 25, 2006 Published in issue #894 Sep 01, 2006 Order article reprints

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