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MacLaine at helm, Linz to star in ‘Bruno’

Tyro thesp Alex Linz, who stars in the upcoming holiday release “Home Alone 3” for Fox, is set to topline the eccentric comedy “Bruno” under Shirley MacLaine’s helm for David Kirkpatrick’s Original Voices banner.

The film will mark the Academy Award-winning actress’ feature film directorial debut. While she previously had set as her debut another Kirkpatrick project, “Kingdom Come” (Daily Variety, April 4), she chose instead the $10 million “Bruno.” MacLaine also will play a role in the film.

The story, written by first-time screenwriter David Ciminello, is about the relationship between an overweight Italian mother, who is broken-hearted over her husband’s abandonment, and her confused, cross-dressing 8-year-old son (Linz). The story is set in New York against the backdrop of a Catholic school, run by a cadre of oppressive nuns.

Kirkpatrick will produce the pic — financed through Original Voices, a new banner focusing on specialized pics — along with Gotham-based John Hart of Hart Sharp Entertainment.

Pic begins shooting in New York City in October.

Linz — who received the ShoWest Young Star of Tomorrow award this year at the group’s annual confab in Las Vegas — made his film debut as Michelle Pfeiffer’s son in “One Fine Day.” From notices he received on that film, Linz then was hired to star in “Home Alone 3,” putting the weight of the mega-franchise on his 8-year-old shoulders.

The stripling broke into acting in 1995, when he appeared on the daytime soap “The Young and the Restless” and primetime episodes of “Cybill,” “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” and “Step by Step.”

Linz was repped on the deal by his agent, Meredith Fine. MacLaine is repped by Mort Viner of ICM.

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