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’40’ team’s comedy speaks to NL

Perez orchestrates tale of musical dreams in 'Charlie'

Proving that silence is golden, New Line paid mid- against high-six figures for “Charlie,” a romantic fable about a mute man who moves to Manhattan to pursue his dreams.

The spec script was written by Rob Perez and will be produced by Michael London, the team behind “40 Days and 40 Nights.”

“Charlie” is about a Texan who moves to New York with grandiose dreams of being an orchestra conductor, despite his inability to vocalize. Perez went on his own abstinence stint before writing about one in “40 Days,” and he researched “Charlie” by pretending to be mute during a weeklong trip to New York.

The WMA-repped Perez said “Charlie” will be more than just a one-joke high-concept film. “There are so many ways besides speaking that an actor can communicate, and this is about a guy who finds a way to speak up for himself in the world,” he said.

New Line exec veep Lynn Harris is overseeing the project. Perez and London scored a hit in “40 Days,” which cost $16 million and has grossed north of $80 million worldwide. London also is producing “The Guru”; the indie “13,” now shooting; and “Sideways,” the latter written and directed by Alexander Payne.

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