Wessler to helm ‘Vision’

Cucinotta attached to star in comedy

“Dumb and Dumber” producer Charles B. Wessler will make his helming debut with the comedy “Vision of Love,” starring “Il Postino” beauty Maria Grazia Cucinotta, for Shoreline Entertainment.

Pic, which will shoot in Italy and New York in September, is about a Gotham hot dog vendor who has lost his ability to tell the future until he meets a mysterious woman. He then goes to Italy with her to restore his clairvoyance.

Shoreline also is in talks with Giancarlo Giannini (“Swept Away,” “Mimic”) to co-star with Cucinotta in the romantic comedy.

John Trozak and Dave Connaughton scripted. But sources said that Wessler will work with Carrie Fisher as well as Peter and Bobby Farrelly in uncredited roles to punch up the comic parts. Alex Dix will produce. Shoreline partners Morris Ruskin, Mary Skinner, Lynn Mooney and George Marinos are exec producing.

Wessler said that the script had originally set all the action in San Francisco, but he became so smitten with Venice that he’s trying to move some of the action to that city if logistical problems can be worked out.

Wessler came up with the idea for the locale switch after he attended computer whiz Paul Allen’s post-Cannes bash last year in Venice. “Something about it was really magical,” Wessler says. “I just wanted to create that feeling.”

However, he added that Venice, with its labyrinth of canals, may be difficult to shoot for him as a first-time helmer, so the production may end up moving to Rome.

Shoreline will finance the pic through pre-sales and bank lines to the tune of a $12 million to $15 million budget. The company, founded in 1997, is looking to make and distribute 10 pics per year.

“The name talent attached to this film reflects our commitment to produce and distribute A-level theatrical products to the international marketplace,” Mooney says. “It’s the goal of every independent film company to be associated with creative talent such as the respected filmmaker as Charles B. Wessler.”

Wessler’s other feature producing credits include the upcoming “Something About Mary,” “It’s Pat,” “Bushwacked” and “Cold Feet.”

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