‘Preston inks to star in ‘Holy Man’

Kelly Preston, who is quietly developing a solid comedienne career in pics like “Jerry Maguire” and “Nothing to Lose,” has inked to star opposite Eddie Murphy and Jeff Goldblum in “Holy Man” for Caravan Pictures, the studio confirmed Tuesday.

Murphy — who segues from “Doctor Dolittle,” which is wrapping production for 20th Century Fox under Betty Thomas’ helm — stars as a guru-like spiritualist who is hired as an on-air personality by a materialistic program director (Goldblum) of a cable shopping channel desperate to stimulate sales and save his own job. Preston will play Goldblum’s girlfriend and an exec at the shopping cabler.

Pic is slated to start shooting in September in Miami.

Stephen Herek (“101 Dalmatians,” “Mr. Holland’s Opus”) is helming from a script by Tom Schulman (“Dead Poets Society”) .

Herek and Caravan topper Roger Birnbaum are producing. Jonathan Glickman and Jeffrey Chernov are exec producers. Rebecca Rudd and Ray Murphy are co-producers.

Preston has racked up an impressive list of credits since she began her career in the early ’80s, appearing in such TV shows as “Capitol” and “For Love and Honor.”

In what is likely to become an answer in Trivial Pursuit, Preston marked her bigscreen debut in 1983 with the Charles Band fantasy “Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn” and Stephen King’s “Christine.”

Since then she has co-starred in such studio pics as “Secret Admirer,” “Twins” and indies, including “Citizen Ruth,” “Curdled” and “From Dusk Til Dawn.”

She also recently gleaned laughs for her role in “Addicted to Love” opposite Meg Ryan and Matthew Broderick.

Preston’s deal was brokered by ICM’s Chris Andrews. She is managed by Joel Stevens.

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