EXCLUSIVE: Denzel Washington is in early talks to star in Shovel Ready, a Warner Bros adaptation of a debut novel by journalist Adam Sternbergh. Erwin Stoff is the producer. In a bombed-out, near future New York City where most of the population escapes reality by tapping into a digital fantasy world, a contract killer is hired to kill the daughter of a powerful, maniacal evangelist. Ultimately, the killer becomes the girl’s protector. It’s early days, but this evokes memories of Washington vehicles like Man On Fire, Book Of Eli, and the Antoine Fuqua-directed The Equalizer which Washington is about to shoot for Sony Pictures. Which means I will be there on opening day if Shovel Ready happens. Washington is repped by WME. CAA brokered the book deal.