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ROBIN’S ‘GOOD’ DEAL

Williams joins Miramax's Van Sant pic

NEW YORK — Robin Williams will co-star with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in Gus Van Sant’s drama “Good Will Hunting,” which Miramax Films will begin shooting next month in Boston and Toronto.

The first screenplay written by Damon and Affleck, “Hunting” tells the story of a troubled prodigy who comes from the wrong side of the tracks. Williams will play a therapist who tries to help the young genius live up to his potential without alienating him in the process.

” ‘Good Will Hunting’ marks the first time we will work with Robin Williams, and we could not be more thrilled,” said Miramax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein. “For Robin, this role recalls the kinds of dramatic parts he played so brilliantly in such films as ‘Dead Poets Society,’ ‘Awakenings’ and ‘The Fisher King.’ ”

Lawrence Bender (“Pulp Fiction”) will produce “Hunting,” with Chris Moore (“Glory Daze”) as co-producer, and Peter Yates (“Roommates”) as co-executive producer. Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier, the team behind “Clerks,” “Mallrats” and Miramax’s upcoming “Chasing Amy,” will co-exec produce.

The deal was negotiated on behalf of Miramax by Weinstein, senior veepee of business and legal affairs Neil Sacker and veepee of production Jon Gordon, who is overseeing “Hunting” for Miramax.

On behalf of Williams, the deal was negotiated by Michael Menchel of CAA and Stephen Tenenbaum of Morra, Brezner, Steinberg & Tenenbaum.

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