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Alba finds meaning in NL ‘Dictionary’

Will join Dancy, Blethyn, Hoskins in Malay filming

Jessica Alba (“Never Been Kissed”) has been cast as the lead in Fine Line Features’ “The Sleeping Dictionary” opposite newcomer Hugh Dancy, Oscar-nominated actress Brenda Blethyn and vet Bob Hoskins.

Production is slated to begin in early May in Malaysia. Guy Jenkin, making his directorial debut, will helm from his own script.

Fine Line will distribute domestically; Fine Line Intl. will handle foreign territories.

Jenkin will produce along with Denise O’Donoghue and Jimmy Mulville; the trio brought the project to Fine Line, where it has been in development via Fine Line’s London-based senior veep of production, Ileen Maisel. Maisel will supervise for the shingle.

“Jessica is an extremely gifted actress and a perfect fit for this role,” said Mark Ordesky, Fine Line prexy of production. “She is as passionate as we are about this project, and we look forward to working with her.”

Set in the 1920s against a remote jungle landscape, “Sleeping” tells the story of an eager young Englishman (Dancy) who is dispatched to the outpost of Sarawak to become part of the British colonial government. Upon arrival, he encounters some unorthodox local traditions and finds himself faced with tough decisions in matters of the heart.

Alba stars as Selima, the unwitting object of his affections. Alba will soon star as the title character in James Cameron’s television series “Dark Angel.” She is repped by Chris Henze of Somers Teitelbaum David, CAA and attorney Patti Felker.

The deal was negotiated on behalf of Fine Line by Jamie Kershaw, veep of business affairs.

Blethyn and Hoskins are repped by ICM; Dancy is repped by Dallas Smith at Fraser & Dunlop.

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