Despite the recent flurry of reports that Johnny Depp's film company is to make the silver screen version of the late Russian spy Alexander LITVINENKO's life, up Steps another contender.

Depp's Infinitum Nihil Productions and Warner Bros have reportedly teamed up to produce a film based on the ex-KGB spy's life, but Columbia pictures and MICHAEL MANN have also announced details of a new film they have in the pipeline  amazingly, based on the life of Litvinenko.

The difference is the two film companies are basing their films on different, as yet unwritten books based on the man's life, with Columbia buying the rights to DEATH OF A DISSIDENT, which is being penned by Litvinenko's widow MARINA LITVINENKO.

Nevertheless, it will be a race to the finish line to see which company manages to begin their project first, as the two giants of the film industry battle it out for the biographical tale.

However, Mann told Variety magazine that he has experience in this area, with the production of THE AVIATOR running along similar lines, with a CHRISTOPHER NOLAN and Jim Carrey project threatening his own.

But after enlisting Martin Scorsese to direct, Mann managed to get the better of the opposition and release the film first.

16/01/2007 12:27:24