Pfeiffer near ‘Posse’ pact

Michelle Pfeiffer’s management is in final negotiations on a reported $ 3.5 million-$ 5 million deal for the actress to star in Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ “My Posse Don’t Do Homework,” which will go into pre-production immediately, sources said Thursday.

A screenplay turned in by “Rain Man” and “The Joy Luck Club” co-screenwriter Ron Bass reportedly piqued Pfeiffer’s interest.

The project tells the true story of a Northern California teacher struggling to decide whether she can continue to teach in the face of failure. It is based on the nonfiction book by LouAnn Johnson.

If the Pfeiffer deal goes through, “Posse” would represent a major coup for first-time Hollywood feature director John N. Smith, who segues from work on such projects as the Canadian miniseries “Dieppe” and “The Boys of St. Vincent” to tackle the Hollywood Pictures project.

Smith was hired as director of “Posse” last month. Pfeiffer and Smith are represented by International Creative Management.

“Posse” is an example of a project that began quietly in Hollywood development circles but gained momentum on its way toward production. The movie rights were originally optioned by Simpson/Bruckheimer principals Jerry Bruckheimer, Don Simpson and executive veepee of production Lucas Foster for a modest $ 25,000 against $ 175,000.

With Pfeiffer on board, production would begin between the middle of February and March. Distribution of the movie is earmarked for Hollywood Pictures, which signed a conditionally exclusive five-year deal with Simpson/Bruckheimer in 1991 .

Simpson/Bruckheimer is currently completing the late February/March release “The Ref,” which stars Denis Leary, Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis.

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