Thesp to play charming, abusive husband to Lopez

In a final deal-making blitz, Columbia Pictures is in early negotiations with Billy Campbell to topline suspenser “Enough” with Jennifer Lopez.

Campbell, the star of the Alphabet web’s “Once and Again,” would play the charming but dangerously abusive husband from whom Lopez’ character flees.

Casting the pic should have been a cinch, given Lopez’ broad appeal as both a No. 1 selling recording artist for Sony Music with her Epic release “J. Lo” and given that she’s the star of the No. 1 movie at the B.O. last weekend, the negative pickup “The Wedding Planner.”

But with WGA and SAG strikes looming, the number of available players has only decreased as studios ramp up production. Moreover, the role of a wife beater who engages in hand-to-hand combat with his bride is hardly the stuff that many Hollywood actors are clamoring for: Earlier talks that could have placed “The Practice” star Dylan McDermott in the role collapsed, partly over deal points, but also based on negativity associated with the character, according to one insider familiar with those talks.

Time running out

Time is of the essence if Col is to make this picture before anticipated strikes that would cripple production. Most in Hollywood say that if any pic is not shooting by April, all bets are off.

Only last week, Col saw the fate of another actioner, the David Koepp-penned “Panic Room” called into question when star Nicole Kidman bailed out due to injury.

Michael Apted (“The World Is Not Enough”) will helm the pic, which is being produced by Irwin Winkler and Robert Cowan, as well as Apted’s producing partner Jeanney Kim.

Col’s exec veepee Amy Baer is overseeing production for the studio.

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