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Leguizamo inks for ‘Pyro’

John Leguizamo has reached an agreement to star in Hollywood Pictures’ “Pyromaniacs: A Love Story,” which will mark “Northern Exposure” producer Joshua Brand’s feature directorial debut.

Hollywood Pictures will attempt to land a major box office draw for one of three remaining lead roles.

The pic is set to start production later this spring.

“Pyromaniacs” drew the attention of Walt Disney Studios chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg as a spec script, and has since emerged as one of the more unusual endeavors on the HollywoodPictures slate. Before first-timer Brand was attached as director, Amy Heckerling, Howard Deutch and Randa Haines angled for the assignment.

Written by Morgan Ward, the script was acquired in August by Hollywood Pictures for $ 300,000 against $ 650,000. The offbeat comedy is about a series of people who claim to have set a Brooklyn restaurant on fire to prove their love for their significant others.

Represented by William Morris Agency, Leguizamo appeared in pix “Carlito’s Way” and “Super Mario Bros.” and the one-man stage shows “Mambo Mouth” and “Spic-o-Rama.”

Sources indicated discussions are ongoing with Erika Eleniak for another key role. The model-turned-actress debuted opposite Steven Seagal in “Under Siege,” played Elly May in “The Beverly Hillbillies” and just wrapped Morgan Creek production “Chasers.”

She’s represented by Joe Rice at Abrams Artists & Associates.

Producer of “Pyromaniacs” is Mark Gordon, who is in post-production on 20th Century Fox’s summer actioner “Speed.”

Helming “Pyromaniacs” is a major career turn for Brand, who with John Falsey produced TV series “Northern Exposure” and “I’ll Fly Away.”

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