Peet eyes part in Col’s ‘Silverman’

Lensing to start mid-June

On the heels of her performance in the hit comedy “The Whole Nine Yards,” Amanda Peet is in negotiations to star in “Big Daddy” director Dennis Dugan’s “Saving Silverman” for Columbia Pictures.

“Silverman,” which earned its greenlight from the studio after a table read earlier this month, is slated to begin shooting in Vancouver in mid-June. Budgeted in the $25 million range, pic centers on two friends who hatch a plot to save their best pal from marrying the wrong woman.

Jack Black (“High Fidelity”) has signed for the lead role of conspiring pal J.D., with Steve Zahn (“Out of Sight”) negotiating to portray his best pal Wayne. Jason Biggs (“American Pie”) is in negotiations to portray the hapless Silverman.

In the meantime, Dugan will have his hands full directing a one-hour comedy pilot penned by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel for Imagine Entertainment. The untitled pilot about an extended dysfunctional family will star Dabney Coleman, Joseph Bologna and Andrew Coumo.

Dugan, whose acting career dates back to the early 1970s, first established his relationship with Imagine when he had a co-starring role as Steve Martin’s demanding boss in the Ron Howard-directed “Parenthood.”

Dugan made his directing debut with “Problem Child,” then helmed comedies such as “Happy Gilmore,” “Beverly Hills Ninja” and “Big Daddy,” the last of which was Col’s top earner for 1999 with $160 million. He has also directed episodes of “Ally McBeal” and “Chicago Hope.”

Peet, who is repped by the Gersh Agency, will be seen in the upcoming “Whipped” at Destination Films. Her credits include “One Fine Day,” “She’s the One” and “Playing by Heart.” She’s also one of the stars of Fox’s “Jack & Jill.”

“Silverman,” written by Greg DePaul and Hank Nelken, was picked up by Col after Warner Bros. Pictures put it in turnaround earlier this year. The comedy will be produced by Neal Moritz’s Sony-based Original Film and Warner Bros.-based Village Roadshow.

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