Robin Williams, who came out swinging at Disney because of his treatment on “Aladdin” and then ended up shaking hands with new Walt Disney Motion Pictures chairman Joe Roth, has agreed to star in Hollywood Pictures’ dramatic comedy “Jack,” with Francis Ford Coppola at the helm, sources said. The parties have entered into negotiations to seal the deal.
The project will mark the first for former Hollywood Pictures’ president Ricardo Mestres since becoming a producer. “Jack” was bought in June for Mestres in a preemptive bid after Mestres found the project on a trip to New York.
The Roth tentpole project will go before the cameras in October with a major summer or, more likely, Thanksgiving 1996 release.
This is the first time Williams and Coppola have worked together on a film.
Williams is expected to first star in the “Cage Aux Folles” remake “Birds of a Feather” for Mike Nichols at United Artists before seguing to “Jack.” The “Birds” script is not finished.
Written by Gary Nadeau and James DeMonaco, “Jack” is a dramatic comedy about a 10-year-old living in a 40-year-old body – the result of a genetic abnormality in which a child physically ages faster than normal but emotionally matures normally.
Nadeau won the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Gold Medal Award for his student film, the fantasy drama “Red.” DeMonaco also wrote “Fire and Rain,” which Mestres has set up at New Line Cinema.
Williams currently is starring in “Jumanji” for TriStar.