Helmer sought for McKewin script

High on its upcoming Keanu Reeves starrer “The Matrix,” Warner Bros. is in advanced talks with the star to return to the studio for its football comedy “The Replacements.”

Dylan Sellers (“The Amazing Panda Adventure,” “Passenger 57″) is producing the pic based on the real-life crew of ragtag jocks who served as replacements during the 1987 National Football League players’ strike.

Reeves would play the leader of the band of misfits who led the Washington Redskins to an impressive winning streak during that strike-shortened season.

Warner Bros. acquired the project last year as a pitch by Vince McKewin (“Fly Away Home”), who penned the screenplay. No director is attached to the project, but with Reeves involved, “Replacements” is now an open directing assignment.

Warner Bros. VP of production Basil Iwanyk is overseeing the project for the studio.

Reeves, who made his mark as an action star in Fox’s 1994 hit “Speed,” can next be seen in the WB/Village Roadshow big-budget sci-fi epic “Matrix,” directed by Andy and Larry Wachowski. Warner execs were said to be so enthused by test screenings and industry reaction to the pic that they struck quickly to get Reeves onboard for another film.

Reeves, who is repped by CAA and 3 Arts Entertainment, last starred for Warner Bros. in the 1997 film “The Devil’s Advocate.”

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