Lane’s in ‘Schmucks’ luck

Thesp taking role to bigscreen

NEW YORK — Nathan Lane, whose NBC sitcom “Encore! Encore!” debuted Tuesday, will star for Propaganda Films in the feature version of “Mizlansky/Zilinsky or ‘Schmucks,’ ” the critically acclaimed Jon Robin Baitz play that Lane toplined when it played a limited run at the Manhattan Theater Club.

The film version will be scripted by Baitz and directed by Joe Mantello, who directed the play and whose last stage-to-screen adaptation was “Love! Valour! Compassion!” Lane starred in that play, too, but dropped out of the movie, and Jason Alexander took his screen role.

Lane just completed a starring role with Bette Midler in the Paul Rudnick-scripted “Isn’t She Great” for director Andrew Bergman and producer Mike Lobell at Universal, and he intends to do “Mizlansky” on his first hiatus from the NBC sitcom.

The play concerns two down-on-their-luck producers who try to salvage their careers with one last screen deal. The project was brought in by Propaganda Films president Steve Golin, who’ll produce. William Morris’s George Lane repped Baitz. Lane is repped by CAA, and managed by Scott Bankston of Propaganda Management.

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