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Ben Stiller Takes It Off For ‘I Am Chippendales,’ Remains Charged To Direct ‘The Current War’

Ben Stiller Takes It Off For 'I Am Chippendales,' Remains Charged To Direct 'The Current War'

We’re surprised it took this long. After the smash success of “Magic Mike” in 2012, we figured Hollywood would be flooding the market with movies featuring buff dudes taking off their shirts. Well, Magic Mike XXL” is on the way with a director selected to take on the gig, and they’ll have some competition around the stripper pole.

Ben Stiller has signed up to star in “I Am Chippendales,” in what sounds like a darker premise than the Channing Tatum joint. Alan Ball (“True Blood,” “Six Feet Under“), adapting the book by Rodney Sheldon, will produce and direct the picture about Paul Snider and Somen “Steve” Banerjee, the men who founded the famed skin joint before arson, racketeering and murder got into the mix. Stiller will play Nick DeNoia, a choreographer who helped conceive the idea that Banerjee ran with.

We certainly dig when Stiller moves toward interesting dramas rather than doing another “Night At The Museum” or a comedy he can knock out in his sleep. And we also dig when he gets behind the camera, because his choices tend to be interesting.

Last summer, he was eyeing the director’s chair for “The Current War,” and that status has been upgraded to “in talks.” He’ll take on the long-brewing project that has a Black List-approved script by Michael Mitnick, telling the true story of Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse’s battle to produce the first stable electric current. The project is set up over at The Weinstein Company where everyone involved seems to be super stoked. [Variety/Deadline]

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