Silvio Muccino prepares for 'R.E.M.'

Film marks a return to a soley acting role

CANNES -- Actor-director Silvio Muccino, one of Italy's brightest young film stars, is beginning preparations for his first international project, an Indian-funded project set in New York.

The project -- titled "R.E.M." -- is based on an original screenplay by Italian author Luca di Fulvio and Carla Vangelista, who co-wrote the book and screenplay with Muccino for his directorial debut "Parlami d'amore" (Talk To Me About Love).

"R.E.M." marks a return to a soley acting role for the 26-year-old, the younger brother of Hollywood director Gabriele Muccino ("The Pursuit of Happyness").

The younger Muccino told THR that the film tells the story of a gang of young people in New York who pull Muccino's character -- visiting from Italy -- into their group. But the drama, he said, is not about gangs but rather about "a sense of fault and of responsibility."

Though no director has yet been named, Muccino said the film is being targeted for a 2009 release.