Reeves at ease on Col ‘Ottoman’

Thesp's dance card full

NEW YORK — Keanu Reeves is set to play the starring role in “The Ottoman Empire,” the Columbia Pictures comedy written and to be directed this summer by Andrew Bergman, whose Jacqueline Susann/Irving Mansfield pic “Isn’t She Great” bows this weekend from Universal.

“Ottoman” is set as a wild comedy about a New Jersey furniture salesman with a terrible secret. Reeves will play the salesman, whose store is called the Ottoman Empire. Columbia exec Matt Tolmach and prexy Amy Pascal are supervising the pic.

Reeves has now completely filled out his dance card for the year before embarking next winter on a 250-day shoot with Larry and Andy Wachowski on back-to-back sequels of “The Matrix” for Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures. Joel Silver is producing.

Reeves will begin work shortly on the Sam Raimi-directed ensemble drama “The Gift,” in which he has a role as a wife-beating redneck. He then moves to the Pat O’Connor-directed romance “Sweet November” for Warner Bros. and Bel Air, followed by Bergman’s comedy. In the process, he’s giving a wide variety of performances before returning to the familiar role of action hero.

John Lyons is producing “The Ottoman Empire.” His recent credits include “Boogie Nights” and “Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me,” and he’s developing the Douglas Carter Beane-scripted pics “Little Diva” and “How Life Is.”

Reeves is repped by CAA and 3 Arts.

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