Macy moves to ‘Mystery’

Thesp dons superhero role for U

“Fargo” co-star William H. Macy is in final negotiations to brandish his mighty shovel as one of the not-so-superheroes in Universal’s “Mystery Men.”

Kinka Usher helms the pic about a group of seemingly normal guys who possess peculiar talents. Macy’s character, the Shoveler (a role originally intended for Ving Rhames), is one of the struggling, self-proclaimed superheroes, who wields an old shovel which he uses to deflect blows as well as land them. His feats do little to improve his standing with his five children, who view him with open disdain.

Neil Cuthburt penned the screenplay, based on a comic book by Bob Burden.

Geoffrey Rush previously had been cast as the Mystery Men’s archrival, Cassanova Frankenstein.

Lawrence Gordon and Lloyd Levin are producing in association with Mike Richardson of Dark Horse Entertainment. Bob Engelman is exec producing the pic which goes before the cameras in September in Los Angeles.

Macy is understood to be earning a low-seven figures for his role in “Mystery Men,” a sum that would be the actor’s biggest payday to date.

After a career filled with memorable character roles in such pics as “House of Games,” “Homicide” and “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” Macy leapt into the limelight with his role as the scheming car salesman Jerry Lundegaard in Joel and Ethan Coen’s “Fargo.” Macy earned an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor for that role.

Since then, he has appeared in such films as “Air Force One” and “Boogie Nights” and soon will be seen in Gary Ross’ “Pleasantville” for New Line and Steve Zaillian’s “A Civil Action” for Touchstone. He currently is shooting “Psycho” for Universal and Imagine Entertainment.

Macy is being repped on the deal by Todd Eisner and Chris Schmidt of Writers & Artists Agency.

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