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Hayden Christensen to make studio return in Paramount's 'Marco Polo'

'Star Wars' prequel star Hayden Christen is to play lead role in 'Marco Polo' for Paramount

"Star Wars" prequel star Hayden Christensen is making his way back to the world of studio films via the Silk Road.

The 33-year-old Canadian actor will play the lead role in "Marco Polo," a fantasy-action movie that is a co-production of Paramount Pictures and China Film Group, The Times has confirmed. The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.

Set to be directed by Rob Cohen ("The Fast and the Furious," "XXX"), "Marco Polo" is based on the Venetian merchant who traveled to China in the 13th century, served as an envoy for Kublai Khan and later recounted his journeys via "Book of the Marvels of the World."

The Force hasn't exactly been with Christensen since his breakout role as Anakin Skywalker, the future Darth Vader, in the "Star Wars" installments "Attack of the Clones" (2002) and "Revenge of the Sith" (2005).

He has acted only sporadically since then, with his most recent starring role in a studio film coming in 2008's "Jumper," a critical and commercial dud in the U.S. (It fared better in overseas markets.) His other post-"Star Wars" movies include "Factory Girl," "Awake," "Takers" and the recent "Outcast."

Christensen's other upcoming projects include the faith-based film "90 Minutes in Heaven" and the World War II zombie flick "Untot."

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2:44 p.m.: This posted was updated with information about the international performance of "Jumper."

This story was originally posted at 2:10 p.m.

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