By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated January 29, 2003 01:00 PM
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Matt Damon will rejoin his “Ocean’s 11” director Steven Soderbergh for the screen adaptation of “The Informant,” based on a book by New York Times investigative reporter Kurt Eichenwald, reports Variety.

Reviews of the book, first published in July 2001, suggest that the story — a true one — has more plot twists than a John Grisham novel.

In 1992 the FBI stumbled upon Mark Whitacre, a top executive at the Archer Daniels Midland corporation (a multi-national food conglomerate), who was willing to act as a U.S. government witness to a vast price-fixing conspiracy that reached into Russia and Japan.

Whitacre wore a wire for more than two years, providing the bureau with hundreds of hours of tapes of ADM executives conspiring to, among other things, replace sugar with high fructose syrup in the world’s food products. (Supplying Coca-Cola alone would provide a fortune, book reviewers noted.)

After four years, ADM pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges and paid a $100 million fine.

It’s still unclear when Damon, 32, and Soderbergh will begin shooting the film.

Earlier this month, Soderbergh and George Clooney committed to “Ocean’s 12,” a sequel to 2001’s “Ocean’s 11” that is targeted for a March 2004 start date and will also feature Damon.

The new film reportedly will be based on a script by George Nolfi (“Timeline”) titled “Honor Among Thieves,” which will then be adapted to the “Ocean’s” cast of characters. Although new faces are expected to be introduced, filmmakers also hope to bring back the entire original cast of the 2001 movie.