Sorvino set for ‘Lulu’ of a film deal

NEW YORK — Mira Sorvino is near a deal to star with Harvey Keitel in “Lulu on the Bridge,” the directorial debut of “Smoke” scribe Paul Auster. Last year’s supporting actress Oscar winner is replacing this year’s, since “Mighty Aphrodite” trophy winner Sorvino takes the role that “The English Patient” honoree Juliette Binoche exited over scheduling difficulties.

Keitel stars as an ill-tempered jazz musician who is shot while performing onstage, and Sorvino will play a waitress he falls in love with. The film has several quirky turns, in keeping with Auster’s style. Among the twists: The plot takes on similarities to the 1929 German film “Pandora’s Box.” Essentially, Sorvino’s character is Lulu, the heroine portrayed by Louise Brooks in the original silent film.

The film marks a reteaming of “Smoke” collaborators Keitel, Auster and producers Peter Newman and Greg Johnson. That pic led to the impromptu “Blue in the Face,” in which Sorvino appeared with Keitel.

The “Lulu” producers set up the $9 million movie with foreign pre-sales and are in talks to sell domestic distribution rights. It will begin shooting in New York in October, with a supporting cast of Vanessa Redgrave, Gina Gershon, Stockard Channing, Chris Penn and Jared Harris.

Sorvino opens Friday in the Guillermo Del Toro-directed sci-fi film “Mimic,” the most expensive film Miramax has ever produced through its Dimension label. She’s repped by William Morris and managed by Jean Fox.

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