Ryder teams with Romano for ‘Eulogy’

Clancy penned, will helm black comedy

In her first screen effort since being convicted on shoplifting charges, Winona Ryder will join “Everybody Loves Raymond” star Ray Romano in the Artisan-distributed comedy “Eulogy.”

Michael Clancy wrote the script and will make his directing debut in the film, which also stars Debra Winger, Hank Azaria, Monica Potter and Rip Torn.

“Eulogy” is being financed by Myriad Pictures, Ovation Entertainment and German tax fund Equity Partners. Filming begins on Feb. 21.

“Eulogy” is a black comedy about three generations of a dysfunctional family that come together for the funeral of the family patriarch. A litany of family secrets and hidden relationships becomes evident during the gathering.

Steven Haft of Haft Entertainment is producing the film with Myriad prexy Kirk D’Amico and Ovation’s Richard Lewis.

Haft, who just produced the Sundance Film Festival debut “The Singing Detective” with Robert Downey Jr., developed the picture with Clancy, who previously directed the short film “Emily’s Last Date.” The script was strong enough to hook the strong ensemble cast. Clancy is managed by Todd Harris and repped by UTA.

Romano has been courted for several live-action projects, after doing voice work on the Fox animation hit “Ice Age.” The WMA-repped Romano is also circling the Rod Lurie-directed Intermedia comedy “Mooseport,” but will do “Eulogy” first.

Ryder, meanwhile, last starred opposite Adam Sandler in the Columbia hit “Mr. Deeds,” but this will be her first job since toplining a well-publicized trial that resulted in her conviction on charges of shoplifting at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills. Ryder was sentenced to three years probation and community service.

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