Caine ‘Rules’ with busy sked

Thesp to join Rudd, Baker in Miramax pic

Michael Caine is in final negotiations to join the cast of Miramax Films’ “The Cider House Rules,” which begins shooting Monday in New England.

Pic, which Lasse Hallstrom is helming, stars Tobey Maguire as Homer Wells, a young man who has grown up in an orphan-age and sets out to gain experience in the big wide world.

Paul Rudd and Kathy Baker are co-starring in the pic. Caine will play Dr. Larch, the head of the orphanage.

John Irving wrote the screenplay, based on his novel.

Caine, one of the main faces of British cinema in the 1960s with his roles in pics such as “Alfie,” “Zulu” and “The Ipcress File” as well as the later “Deathtrap,” “The Man Who Would Be King” and “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” has segued into character roles in recent years.

After last year’s film noir for director Bob Rafaelson, “Blood and Wine,” brought him back to industry prominence, the actor inked for the Miramax-backed British comedy “Little Voice” opposite Brenda Blethyn, Jane Horrocks and Ewan McGregor. Pic preems at this year’s Toronto pic fest.

He is shooting the wacky comedy “The Debtors” for producer Lawrence Bender. “Debtors,” the directorial debut of Evie Quaid, also stars thesps Randy Quaid, Catherine McCormack and Jamie Kennedy.

Cary Meadow, senior VP of business and legal affairs, negotiated for Miramax. ICM reps Caine.

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