Murray, Linney to join eccentric Brooklyn family

MILAN — Bill Murray, Laura Linney and John Turturro are in advanced talks to co-star in “The Squid and the Whale,” an $8.5 million family drama written and directed by Noah Baumbach.

Producing the pic are Wes Anderson, who directed “The Royal Tenenbaums,” and Peter Newman, producer of Wayne Wang’s “Smoke.”

HanWay, the London-based sales arm of Jeremy Thomas’ Recorded Picture Co., has picked up worldwide rights to the project and unveiled it to foreign buyers at Mifed on Sunday.

In a setup reminiscent of “The Royal Tenenbaums,” pic focuses upon an eccentric Brooklyn family whose patriarch (Murray) claims once to have been a famous novelist but is now reduced to teaching.

When his wife (Linney) discovers a literary talent of her own, it breaks up the family, leaving the two teenage sons divided between their parents.

The wife starts an affair with her younger son’s tennis coach (Turturro), while the husband starts sleeping with a student whom his elder son is courting.

Writer-director Baumbach first attracted notice with his debut pic “Kicking and Screaming” in 1995. His sophomore movie “Mr. Jealousy” premiered in 1998.

“The Squid and the Whale” reunites many of the key members of the production team behind “The Royal Tenenbaums,” including cinematographer Robert D. Yeoman, music supervisor Randall Poster and casting director Douglas Aibel.

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