Shandling, Paltrow in talks to topline pic

NEW YORK — Conundrum Entertainment partners Peter and Bobby Farrelly and Bradley Thomas have moved up the start date of “Shallow Hal,” solving the conundrum of the possible work stoppage next year.

With Jack Black now set for the title role, the pic is slated to begin by March 22, so that it can be completed before July 1, when the Screen Actors Guild pact expires.

The Farrellys are directing the comedy from the script they wrote with Sean Moynihan.

Conundrum and Fox have set Black as the world’s most shallow man who suddenly falls in love with the inner beauty of a homely woman. They are negotiating with Gwyneth Paltrow to play the vision of the woman that Hal sees.

Calling Shandling

They are also courting Garry Shandling to play Hal’s equally shallow friend, who, seeing his pal pursue the woman, becomes equally determined to make her his own.

Conundrum will produce the film at Fox through the first-look deal the company extended for another three years (Daily Variety, June 9).

Fox and the Farrellys teamed most recently on “Me, Myself & Irene,” and before that on “There’s Something About Mary,” which grossed $360 million worldwide.

“Shallow Hal” will be produced by the Farrellys, Thomas and Charles B. Wessler, and co-produced by Mark Charpentier.

Breakout role

Black’s breakout role came in “High Fidelity,” where his vocal talents led to Black and his band, Tenacious D, signing a deal with Epic Records.

Black, who is repped by UTA, will next be seen starring in the Dennis Dugan-directed film “Saving Silverman” and had been set to star with Mike Myers in the “Dieter” movie, which was scrapped.

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