Frears in talks to helm Touchstone’s ‘Fidelity’

Would reunite with Cusack

NEW YORK — Stephen Frears is near a deal to direct John Cusack in Touchstone Pictures’ “High Fidelity.” The Nick Hornby novel has been adapted by Cusack and his “Grosse Pointe Blank” writing partners Steve Pink and D.V. deVincentis.

The move marks a reunion for Cusack and Frears, who last worked together on the critically acclaimed adaptation of the Donald Westlake novel “The Grifters.”

“High Fidelity,” a huge bestseller in the U.K., is about a disenfranchised record store owner who has lost his girlfriend and wants to win her back.

The project was originally optioned by Mike Newell’s Dogstar Films as a directing vehicle for Newell. But he’s busy directing Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, Angelina Jolie and Cate Blanchett in the currently shooting Fox 2000 comedy “Pushing Tin.”

Touchstone president Donald DeLine is pushing for a summer start after getting a strong script from Cusack and cohorts. Since Newell will be too busy in post-production on “Pushing Tin,” he stepped aside, though his Dogstar retains a producing role.

Enter Frears, who just completed “High-Lo Country” and moves right into “High Fidelity,” which is expected to begin production in August.

Both Cusack and Frears are repped by William Morris’ John Burnham and Gaby Morgerman.

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