Vin Diesel IS "The Wheelman"

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In yet another example of synergy between moviemakers and game creators, "The Wheelman" will hit movie theaters and video game stores in the same week. And Vin Diesel will factor heavily into both projects.

According to Variety, "In one of the biggest partnerships to date between a vidgame publisher and a studio, MTV Films and Paramount are developing Midway Games' "The Wheelman" as a feature film. Plan is to release the pic and the game simultaneously; Vin Diesel is signed on to star in and produce both.

"Wheelman" is an action-adventure title about an expert driver who comes out of retirement to protect a woman from his past.

Par and MTV Films bought the rights from Midway, which is already well into development on the game for next generation consoles Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Budget is believed to be north of $15 million -- on the high end for videogames.

Game and movie are being targeted for a late 2007 release. "XXX" scribe Rich Wilkes is penning the film's screenplay and is expected to turn in a draft in about two months. Vidgame's story will be a prequel to the film, with some crossover between the two."

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