Ricci may star opposite thesp

Johnny Depp and director Tim Burton will likely collaborate for a third time on Paramount and Scott Rudin Prods.’ romantic horror pic “Sleepy Hollow.”

The actor, who starred in Burton’s “Edward Scissorhands” and “Ed Wood,” is close to a deal to play Ichabod Crane in the feature adaptation of Washington Irving’s classic story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”

Christina Ricci is a top contender for the lead female role of Katrina Van Tassel, according to sources, though no deal is in place.

Depp would segue from Artisan Entertainment’s Roman Polanski thriller “The Ninth Gate,” now shooting in Europe, to “Hollow,” which is set for an October start in Tarrytown, New York.

Andrew Kevin Walker is adapting the story about a small-town schoolmaster who discovers a headless horseman and who vies, with brawny hothead Brom Bones, for the affection of Van Tassel.

Depp most recently starred in Terry Gilliam’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” His other credits include “Donnie Brasco” and “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?”

ICM’s Tracey Jacobs is negotiating the deal on Depp’s behalf.

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