Sahara: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Matthew McConaughey is in final negotiations to star in and executive produce Crusader Entertainment's big-screen adaptation of Clive Cussler's 1992 novel Sahara for director Breck Eisner. The project will begin production in the fall, with Paramount Pictures distributing.

The story is the first installment of the author's best-selling Dirk Pitt series, about an intrepid adventurer and explorer. The book centers on Pitt (McConaughey) searching the Sahara for a toxin that is killing marine life.

There are 13 Pitt books in Cussler's series, and Crusader hopes that Sahara will be the beginning of a franchise with McConaughey at the center.

Paramount originally had approached Tom Cruise for the role of Pitt but Cruise, with his busy schedule, respectfully declined.