Nicolas Cage to co-star in black comedy

Meryl Streep is in negotiations to join Nicolas Cage in the upcoming Columbia Pictures black comedy, “Adaptation.”

Streep, like Cage, would likely need to defer a sizable portion of her upfront fee in order for the pic to come in within Col’s $20 million-$25 million budget range (Daily Variety, Aug. 23).

“Adaptation” is loosely based on the New Yorker contributing writer Susan Orlean’s tome, “The Orchid Thief.” It’s a fictionalized adaptation of “Orchid Thief” told against the backdrop of an anguished screenwriter’s sexual frustrations and personal insecurities.

The “Being John Malkovich” team of helmer Spike Jonze and scribe Charlie Kaufman are, respectively, directing and penning the pic, which Jonathan Demme is producing.

Cage would play Kaufman, while Streep, whose most recent role was also based on a real-life character, inner-city teacher Roberta Guaspari in “Music of the Heart,” would play Orlean.

Col exec veepee Amy Baer and senior veep Carrie Richman will oversee the pic for the studio.

Streep is repped by Creative Artists Agency.

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