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French 'Artist' actor in talks for film with Martin Scorsese

LOS ANGELES -- French actor Jean Dujardin, star of this year's best film Oscar winner “The Artist,” is in talks to co-star in Martin Scorsese's latest movie, his Hollywood agent said Thursday.

Dujardin, who won the best actor Academy Award in February for his role in the silent black and white film, is tipped to join Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill in Scorsese's “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

“It is confirmed that Jean is in talks for this,” his Los Angeles-based agent Marie Sheehy told AFP, confirming a report in the industry daily Variety.

The movie is based on a book by former disgraced stockbroker Jordan Belfort about his rise and fall on Wall Street, along with the hard-partying lifestyle and his stormy personal life, Variety said.

The 39-year-old French actor would play Jean-Jacques Handali, a smooth-talking Swiss banker engaged in money laundering for Belfort — who himself was jailed for money laundering in the 1990s — played by DiCaprio.

Filming will begin this summer in New York on the movie, which is based on a screenplay by Terence Winter.

Dujardin has been a huge star in his homeland for years but was virtually unknown elsewhere before the Oscars triumph for “The Artist,” which made him the first French actor to win an Academy Award.

Coincidentally, the French film's main rival in February was the lavish 3D adventure “Hugo” — whose director Scorsese could now be in charge of Dujardin in “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

The film would arguably mark another step in his admission into the Hollywood big league, starring alongside an A-lister like DiCaprio, after what was initially a relatively low-key French film like “The Artist.”

The Gallic star's latest role is in the “The Players” (Les Infideles), released in France in February and produced by the Weinstein Company, which was behind “The Artist.”

He is also attached to star with Tim Roth in “Mobius” by French director Eric Rochant, according to Variety.

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