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NL issues spec coin

You might say New Line Cinema is taking “desperate measures” to upgrade.

The upstart indie, soon to be officially acquired by Ted Turner, has shelled out a “high six-figure sum” for Wayne Rice and Greg Hoffman’s spec script, “Desperate Measures,” sources said Wednesday.

The deal is in keeping with New Line’s mandate to upgrade its sensibility from low-budget indie features to mid-level priced pix.

New Line sources pegged the pic’s potential budget between $ 12 million and$ 15 million. No talent has been attached.

Described by one source as a “Beetlejuice of love,” the spec script tells of one man’s struggle to get his girlfriend back.

The pic will also be new production exec Lynn Harris’ first project. Exec producers are Bernie Brillstein and Brad Grey. Rice and Steven Drimmer will produce.

Rice’s end of the deal was brokered by Bruce Kaufman of the lit agency Broder , Kurlind, Webb & Uffland.

Brillstein/Grey was repped by Alan Hergott of the law firm Bloom, Dekum & Hergott.

New Line is awaiting Friday’s expected shareholder approval vote in Gotham before it officially joins the Turner web. The Atlanta news and entertainment boss paid $ 550 mil for the indie and its arthouse fare subsid, Fine Line Features.

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