Capella, New Line milk ‘Dairy’

Production company also in talks to finance 'The Day,' 'After the Rain'

Capella Films’ sales arm, Capella Intl., will co-finance and take international rights to New Line Cinema’s low-budget comedy “Dairy Queens.”

The partnership, together with German film fund KC Medien, follows New Line and Capella’s teaming last year on the Mike Myers’ comedy “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery,” which grossed more than $50 million domestically.

Lona Williams (“The Drew Carey Show”) wrote the script for “Queens,” which Michael Patrick Jann (“The State”) will direct.

Pic is described as an comedic farce detailing the cutthroat and challenging world of a small-town beauty contest.

Casting is expected to be finalized within the next few days. Producers Judy Hofflund and Gavin Polone have talked to Denise Richards, Kirsten Dunst and Ellen Barkin to star in the pic.

Capella also is talks to co-finance Morgan Freeman’s next directing project, “A Day No Pigs Would Die,” which has William Hurt and Freeman attached to star.

Capella has indicated that it is willing to put up 65% of the costs of the project, if Freeman and Lori McCreary’s Revelations Ent. finds the remaining 35%.

The film, which is based on the novel by Robert Newton Peck, was scripted by Jenny Wingfield.

Freeman said that he didn’t believe that “Pigs,” would start shooting this year, although he said it was possible.

Revelations announced its first picture here, “Under Suspicion,” starring Freeman and Gene Hackman. Tom Provost is writing the script based on the French film “Garde a Vue.” TF1 Intl. is handling international sales (see related story, this page).

In addition, Capella and KC Medien will finance and produce the South African-set drama “After the Rain.”

Pic, which is written and directed by Ross Kettle, will begin shooting in July, with Ariyon Bakare, Louise Lombard and Paul Bettany attached to star. Paige Simpson, Melanie Green and Kerry Selig will produce.

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