Searchlight puts squeeze on ‘Love’

Pic boasts all-star cast, low budget

Fox Searchlight will team with Michael Kuhn’s Qwerty Films to make “I Love Huckabee’s,” an ensemble comedy originally set up at Warners and Miramax.

Pic stars Mark Wahlberg, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Jason Schwartzman, Lily Tomlin, Dustin Hoffman and Catherine Deneuve. David O. Russell will direct from a script he co-wrote with Jeff Baena.

Filming will begin June 9.

Russell is producing the film with Scott Rudin and Greg Goodman, the trio that originally set up the film as a co-production between Miramax and Warner Bros. While Russell secured a solid cast for the under-$20 million pic, the financing and distribution was never finalized. Searchlight president Peter Rice and Kuhn stepped in to keep its start date intact.

Searchlight will distribute domestically, in Latin America, Italy, Germany and most English-speaking markets. Financing partner Qwerty will have France, Spain and some other territories. Qwerty is the recently named financing and production company of former Polygram Film president Kuhn.

The comedy is a love story centering around a husband and wife who are existential detectives.

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