Ensemble signs on for Gilliam-helmed fantasy

Matt Damon, Heath Ledger, Robin Williams and Jonathan Pryce are in line to become MGM’s fairy tale cast for its comedic actioner “Brothers Grimm.”

In development at the studio for nearly two years, pic is now on the fast track for a 2004 release under the direction of Terry Gilliam.

Action-adventure tale revolving around the legendary German brothers and fairy tale scribes Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm is set to start shooting around Prague in June.

Written by “The Ring” scribe Ehren Kruger, fictional plot has the folklore collectors, now called Jake and Will, traveling from village to village pretending to protect townsfolk from enchanted creatures and pulling off exorcisms. They are put to the test when they encounter a real magical curse, requiring genuine courage.

Final negotiations on the castings are underway, calling for Damon and Ledger to play the brothers, while Williams and Pryce would portray the villains Cavaldi and Delatombe.

The talent deals and pic’s final budget are said to be contingent upon Damon’s coming on board the project. The Endeavor-repped actor, who last appeared in Universal’s actioner “The Bourne Identity,” recently signed on to star in Steven Soderbergh’s “The Informant” at Warner Bros. He is currently shooting the Peter and Bobby Farrelly-helmed comedy “Stuck on You” for Fox.

MGM exec veep Elizabeth Cantillon and creative exec Stephanie Palmer are overseeing the project at the studio.

Pic is being produced by Mosaic Media Group’s Chuck Roven, who produced Gilliam’s “Twelve Monkeys,” along with producer Daniel Bobker.

Mosaic and Roven are also behind MGM’s spring actioner “Bulletproof Monk,” starring Chow-Yun Fat and Seann William Scott.

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