O’Donnell shingle sets slate

Chris O’Donnell’s Warner Bros.-based company has tapped a production head and two projects in which he will produce and star — one a romantic holiday comedy and the other a thriller.

Bing Howenstein, an independent producer, has been named vice president of production for the company, called George Street Pictures.

Meanwhile, the company will produce the romantic comedy “The Flight Before Christmas,” in which O”Donnell will star as a footloose commuter pilot who gets an ultimatum from his girlfriend as he flies back to Chicago on Christmas Eve. In a twist on “A Christmas Carol,” three ghosts give him an unscheduled tour of his romances past, present and future.

Howenstein came up with the concept for the project, which will be scripted by Jim Dauterive, a staff writer on Fox TV’s “King of the Hill.” Dauterive also wrote Imagine Entertainment’s upcoming feature “Exile in Guyville.”

Talks also are underway for the company to co-produce “A Day in November” with Arnold Kopelson. O’Donnell will be attached to star in the thriller, which is set against the running of the New York marathon.

O’Donnell next is seen in Warner Bros.’ summer event “Batman and Robin.” Caped Crusader George Clooney also has a production deal with Warner Bros. — Left Bank Prods., in which he is partnered with Robert Lawrence.

Howenstein wrote and produced the award-winning short film “The Bicyclist” in 1994. He began his career in commercial production and later worked for Samuel Goldwyn in TV development, and also worked with casting director Bonnie Timmerman.

In a statement, O’Donnell said that Howenstein “has an impeccable eye for quality scripts and ideas, and will certainly be an enormous asset to putting George Street Pictures on the map.”

O’Donnell made a production deal at Warner Bros. last year.

O’Donnell is repped by Kevin Huvane at CAA and managed by Suzan Bymel and Evelyn O’Neill. Dauterive is repped by UTA’s Marty Bowen.

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