Jonathan Demme is eyeing TriStar Pictures’ “The Stopwatch Gang,” from a script by Beth Henley for a September 1996 start, sources said. Demme, who is currently working with Tom Hanks on “That Thing You Do” for 20th Century Fox, has been very high on the project for a while.

“The Stopwatch Gang” is about three cons – a woman and two men – who pull off a heist and evade the police until they start spending lavishly. They get caught and go to jail, only to join up again to plan an escape and go on another crime spree.

Carol Yumpkus reps Henley, best known as the playwright whose “Crimes of the Heart” and “Miss Firecracker” were made into films. Demme, who won an Oscar for directing “Silence of the Lambs,” is repped by CAA’s Rick Nicita.

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