Everett eyes gay spy role

Rupert Everett, the dashing British actor who is a scene-stealer as Julia Roberts’ gay best friend in TriStar’s “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” is in talks to become Hollywood’s first gay secret agent.

At one point in “Wedding,” Everett rescues Roberts from rejection, telling her he is “Bond, Jane Bond.” Sure enough, sources said TriStar’s near a deal to develop a vehicle for Everett to play a gay British intelligence officer. The openly gay actor pitched it to the studio and will co-write it the action thriller with writing partner Mel Bordeaux. The working title is “P.S. I Love You.”

“Wedding” has earned Everett the most attention he’s received in his 15-year career, which includes strong screen impressions in such films as “Another Country,” “The Madness of King George” and “Ready to Wear” (in which he first acted with Roberts). But Hollywood hasn’t figured out exactly how to tap his talent — until now. TriStar exec veep Amy Baer, who supervised “Wedding,” and new TriStar production president Chris Lee are trying to lock Everett up for several projects that include a possible reteam with Roberts.

Everett is in talks with producers Neil Koenigsberg, Hillary Shore and Morgan Mason to adapt his semi-autobiographical comic novel, “Hello, Darling, Are You Working?” The hope is for Everett to co-write the script, and sources said he might link up with comedy writer Bruce Vilanch.

TriStar’s move to generate a project with a gay protagonist comes on the heels of Fox’s purchase of Peter Lefcourt’s novel “The Dreyfus Affair,” about a gay romance between baseball players, which Betty Thomas will direct. Everett’s repped by ICM’s Nick Styne and managed by Gallin/Morey’s Mark Epstein.

TWO GIRLS, ONE GUY, ONE STUDIO: “Two Girls and A Guy,” the Ed Pressman-produced indie film directed by James Toback which is expected to re-establish Robert Downey Jr. as a top actor, is in serious talks to be acquired for distribution by Fox Searchlight, sources said.

The film, which also stars Natasha Wagner and Heather Graham, is one of three new films for Downey, who also stars in Robert Altman’s “The Gingerbread Man” and Mike Figgis’s “One Night Stand” for New Line.

Downey’s currently co-starring in “U.S. Marshals” for Warner Bros.; Wagner has landed the female lead in “Revenant,” a Matthew Bright (“Gun Crazy”) script about vampires for Storm Entertainment.

She co-stars with Casper Van Diem (“Starship Troopers”). This comes after she completed the indie pic “First Love, Last Rites.” Wagner’s repped by ICM’s Nick Styne and Jason Barrett.

WILL ROBBINS CHARM “SNAKE”? With Al Pacino wavering on joining Nicolas Cage in the Brian DePalma-directed “Snake Eyes,” might Paramount be looking to Tim Robbins to replace him? Studio sources said they still hope Pacino will take part, but won’t know until next week. They said they won’t consider anyone else until he decides.

Pacino’s busy in New York directing and starring alongside Susan Floyd in the indie pic “Chinese Coffee.” Robbins, who’ll be seen shortly starring with Martin Lawrence in the Touchstone comedy “Nothing to Lose,” has a slot open before he goes off to direct a pic. Time’s a concern, since Cage has to complete the film before he does “Superman Reborn.” Stay tuned.

MANTEGNA JOINS WOODY: Joe Mantegna has agreed to star in Woody Allen’s fall film, playing the second male lead with Kenneth Branagh and getting caught in a triangle with him and Judy Davis.

Mantegna’s coming off a starring role in the highly rated CBS mini “The Last Don”; this will be his second time around with Allen after the film “Alice.” He’s currently doing the Ray Bradbury-written “The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit” for ABC. Mantegna’s repped by Peter Strain & Assoc.

DISHINGS: Dish hoisted the equivalent of an airball Tuesday in a report that Spike Lee was making a full court press to draft Kobe Bryant for his pic “He Got Game.” Bryant was courted, along with the likes of Knicks star Allan Houston. Bryant’s busy attending college at UCLA during offseason and sources said Lee’s decided on Ray Allen of the Milwaukee Bucks. …

DJ Ellen K, who co-hosts with Rick Dees on KIIS-FM in L.A., dropped trou for a spread in August’s Playboy. When Dees announced that one photo appeared on her website, 17,000 computer users visited. The visitors are traceable, and sources said more than 400 who accessed the site did it from computers at Disney. … That Gap campaign featuring actors playing instruments just landed William Macy, Oscar nominated for “Fargo,” who’ll play harmonica. Each celeb gets $10,000 per spot, Dish hears.

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