Drew Barrymore as a manic depressive. That’s the scenario in Touchstone Pictures’ “Mad Love,” which is set for a June production start, if Barrymore and a male co-star sign on.

Written by Paula Milne, “Mad Love” is about a manic depressive teenage girl and her boyfriend, who take flight on a cross-country trip in order to be together. During their journey, her mental condition worsens, eventually forcing a painful split.

Touchstone has put a $ 1.5 million offer out to Barrymore to star in “Mad Love,” which would mark the former child star’s continued evolution toward more serious roles in major studio productions. She is represented by United Talent Agency partner J.J. Harris.

Barrymore, who has wrapped “Bad Girls” for 20th Century Fox and is currently working on “Boys on the Side” for New Regency Prods., has not officially closed on the “Mad Love” deal because her planned co-star Chris O’Donnell has dropped off the project. While Barrymore is likely to do the pic, she probably won’t close the transaction until a new co-star is set.

In creative circles, the word is that O’Donnell dropped out of “Mad Love” to test for the role of Robin in “Batman 3.” The part would require extensive physical training by O’Donnell and force him to shelve other projects until after the film is completed.

“Mad Love” is the first step up to a major studio feature for director Antonia Bird, who previously directed the critically acclaimed BBC movie “Safe.”

Producer of “Mad Love” is David Manson at Sarabande Prods, while Touchstone senior veepee of production Bridget Johnson shepherds the project for the studio.

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