‘Jane’ holding out for cast

While shock jock Howard Stern continues to tout his role in a planned movie “Jane” as the follow-up to his star turn in the autobiographical “Private Parts,” the project is — well, not exactly racing toward production.

In fact, neither Stern nor co-star Melanie Griffith is signed, no foreign sales have been made and no money has yet been raised to make the picture.

“Jane” is a comedy to be directed by Lyndall Hobbs in her first feature outing since 1987’s “Back to the Beach.” The script’s by Hobbs and Tracy Tynan.

The project is being produced by the amusingly named Ministry of Film, a Hollywood-based maker of low-budget movies headed by longtime costume designer Marilyn Vance and TV sales veteran Alan Mruvka.

Initial Entertainment Group, which has agreed to handle foreign sales on “Jane,” introduced the project at the most recent Cannes film market, but sources close to the companies say actual sales were not offered.

Neither Ministry nor IEG would comment. But Variety sources say one of the problems is that the stars have not signed on the dotted line.

Another problem: “The budget keeps going up,” says one source, who reports that “Jane’s” pricetag is edging close to $20 million — triple its original cost. A switch of shooting locations from Toronto to the more expensive environs of Vancouver is partly responsible, says the source. Talks aimed at adding comedian David Spade to the cast are also boosting estimates.

Indeed, Variety understands that it’s the above-the-line fees (i.e., money demanded by stars) that are keeping “Jane” from advancing Stern’s thespian career.

Calls to Stern’s production company were not returned.

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