Females saddle up for new roles

Move over boys, there’s now a trio of female Westerns on the horizon.

The newest project to hit the fast trail is Al Ruddy and Andre Morgan’s planned summer production of “Bad Girls,” for which the producers have lassoed a pick-up deal with 20th Century Fox.

The indie producers had been negotiating a distribution arrangement with New Line, but according to Morgan, when the talks broke down over budgetary considerations and creative differences, they struck a deal with Fox.

“We had always envisioned a much larger-scale project with hopes of being able to incorporate a major cast of top female stars,” said Morgan, whose Ruddy-Morgan company has been developing the project since last year, based an original idea of Ruddy’s.

The producer, who refers to “Bad Girls” as a female “Magnificent Five,” noted that negotiations are currently under way with various “major” actresses to play the leads in the Civil War ensemble Western about a quintet of young prostitutes who are robbed of their life savings and take the law into their own hands to track down the thieves.

Delivery of rewrite due

Morgan said he and Ruddy expect delivery of a rewrite by Becky Johnston on Yolande Turner’s original “Bad Girls” script tomorrow.

Production has been set for June 21 under the direction of Tamra Davis (“CB4, “”Guncrazy”).

The producer noted that Fox, where senior VP Michael London is spearheading the project, is talking about going out with the picture next spring.

New Line was so incensed when they found out Ruddy-Morgan was negotiating with Fox, Morgan acknowledged, “all hell broke loose, they started sending letters and threatened to sue us.”

Sights on ‘Guns’

Hoping to possibly beat “Bad Girls” to the big screen, New Line has now apparently refocused its sights on “Guns and Roses,” a spec script by Karen Lee Hopkins that the indie is considering packaging in association with producers Denise Shaw and Allan Mindel (Fine Line’s “Bodies Rest & Motion”). Insiders indicate that New Line has not optioned the “Guns” script and won’t do so unless it can assemble a desired cast.

Both the producers and New Line exex were unavailable late yesterday; they were in New York for the “Bodies Rest & Motion” premiere.

A Rose is a Rose

The piece, which one person familiar with the material described as “very violent and sexy,” tells the story of the Rose sisters — three empowered outlaws who terrorize the Wild West and redefine the role of women in the Old West.

The other competing female Western saddling up for production is Denise Di Novi’s previously announced movie “Outlaws,” for Columbia Pix, with John Duigan set to direct.

An Aussie wrap

Duigan wraps the Australian movie he’s currently lensing, “Sirens,” in five weeks and is expected here in early May to begin casting. Plans are to shoot in late August or the first week of September, Columbia sources said. Di Novi, unavailable for comment, reportedly expects a rewrite from Boaz Yakin and Cassiday Heydt this week.

Story is about a group of women who become outlaws and robbers in order to buy land of their own.

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