Actor is in negotiations to reteam with filmmaker

Jack Nicholson is closing in on a deal to reteam with James L. Brooks on the helmer’s untitled romantic comedy at Columbia Pictures.

Nicholson is the last piece of casting to come together on the ensemble project, which stars Paul Rudd, Reese Witherspoon and Owen Wilson.

For months, Bill Murray had been in talks to portray the blueblood father of Rudd’s character, but no deal closed. In recent weeks Murray’s interest in the project waned and he fell out of touch.

With Murray unresponsive and production scheduled to start in less than two weeks, Brooks reached out to Nicholson.

Brooks, who also penned the screenplay, is producing alongside Paula Weinstein (“Blood Diamond”), Laurence Mark (“Dreamgirls”) and Gracie Films prexy Julie Ansell.

Story involves a love triangle, with Rudd playing a white-collar executive vying for Witherspoon’s affections, and Wilson portraying a professional baseball pitcher who is also a love interest.

Two of Nicholson’s three Oscars have come via Brooks films: 1983’s “Terms of Endearment” and 1997’s “As Good as It Gets.”

(Dave McNary contributed to this report.)

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