'Gone' guys sharpen up for 'Blade'

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The makers of "Gone Baby Gone" are teaming again to bring another gritty crime novel to the big screen.

Miramax has acquired the rights to Marcus Sakey's debut novel "The Blade Itself," which will be produced by Ben Affleck and Sean Bailey via his new shingle Idealogy.

Aaron Stockard is on board to adapt the screenplay.

Affleck and Bailey produced "Gone" with Alan Ladd Jr. and Danton Rissner, while Stockard, a former assistant to Matt Damon, co-wrote the script with Affleck. Miramax distributed the film.

"Blade" revolves around two Chicago childhood friends who made their reputation committing petty crimes as kids before choosing different paths in life. When they are reunited years later, one is forced to decide how far he will go to protect the secrets of his past. Esquire magazine named the novel one of the five best of 2007.

"We had a great experience working with Sean, Ben and Aaron and look forward to continuing our relationship with this new one," Miramax president of production Keri Putnam said.

Kristin Jones, senior vp production, international development and acquisitions at Miramax, will oversee the project under Putnam.

Endeavor-repped Affleck is filming "State of Play" for Universal.
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