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Schumacher seeks ‘Room’ in sked; ‘West’-ward ho!

Though he’s got a crowded schedule filming “A Time To Kill” now and “Batman and Robin” next fall, director Joel Schumacher’s infatuation with “The Crowded Room” might finally be consummated. Word is that the director will attempt to do a down-and-dirty version of the film before he gets Val Kilmer and Chris O’Donnell to put on their batsuits next fall.

Reached on the set of “Time to Kill” in Mississippi, Schumacher confirmed he’d like to do the movie if scheduling permits.

“I’ve tried to do it twice with Brad Pitt, and after the second time I told him I wouldn’t hold him up any longer and that he should run with it.”

Pitt tried, but an attempt to reteam with “Seven” director David Fincher fell apart because of scheduling, with Pitt set for Columbia’s “The Devil’s Own” and TriStar’s “Seven Years in Tibet.” Schumacher says he’s made no decision about who should play main character Billy Milligan, who, after being buried alive and enduring other tortures at the hands of a sadistic stepfather, developed a multiple personality disorder that led him to commit such crimes as robberies and rapes.

Milligan was arrested at age 21, so the actor that is cast would have to be around that age and have the range to exhibit 24 personalities. If Schumacher can get the pic in motion, it will be a huge relief to Milligan, who, now fully rehabilitated, is as short on patience as he is on personalities, as the project has languished for eight years.

Schumacher also denied that any firm casting decisions have been made on the next Caped Crusader epic. Though the pic will have villains Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy and introduce Batgirl, Schumacher says he’s been too busy setting up the riot scenes in “Time To Kill” to worry about casting yet, especially as Akiva Goldsman doesn’t hand in his script until January. Though Julia Roberts is said to be a contender for some role, reports it will be Batgirl seem unlikely, because the character is a 17-year-old boarding-school student.

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