Thesp to star, produce 'Dexterity' with partner Sternberg

Paramount Pictures has tapped Jude Law to topline “Dexterity,” a romance that’s been in development for more than a decade.

Law will also produce with partner Tom Sternberg, who produced “The Talented Mr. Ripley” with William Horberg at Paramount.

Karen Croner, who wrote “One True Thing,” is scripting the adaptation of the Douglas Bauer novel, a story of a young couple set against the fortunes of a factory town in upstate New York after the husband is laid off.

Project was originally developed by Timothy Hutton as a vehicle for him to star in and direct. Attachments during the 1990s included Jason Patric and Matthew McConaughey for the lead, with Bridget Fonda and Ashley Judd as possible leading ladies.

“I’m delighted that the elements are coming together for ‘Dexterity,’ ” Law said. “It’s a great pleasure for me to be working once again with the folks at Paramount, which has become like a second home to me.”

Law, who received an Oscar nom for “Cold Mountain,” will appear in two Par pics this year — the remake of “Alfie” directed by Charles Shyer and co-starring Marisa Tomei and Susan Sarandon, and “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow,” with Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie.

Law is currently working on the film version of Col’s “Closer,” directed by Mike Nichols and co-starring Julia Roberts. He’s also starring in Fox Searchlight’s “I Heart Huckabees,” directed by David O. Russell with Naomi Watts and Mark Wahlberg, and DreamWorks’ “Tulip Fever,” directed by John Madden with Keira Knightley.

Law and Croner are both repped by CAA.

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