Madonna, Everett ink for ‘Best Thing’

New best friends to co-star in romantic comedy

New best friends Rupert Everett and Madonna have signed to star in Lakeshore Entertainment’s dramatic comedy “The Next Best Thing,” the company announced Tuesday.

Pic, which does not yet have a director, was written by Tom Ropelewski (“Look Who’s Talking”). It will begin shooting before the end of the year.

Producers of “Best Thing” are Lakeshore co-chairman Tom Rosenberg and “Mrs. Doubtfire” scribe Leslie Dixon.

Pic is about a thirtysomething single woman (Madonna) who convinces her best friend (Everett) to father her child, only to meet and fall in love with another man five years later.

Madonna has been eyeing the role in “Best Thing” for some time (Daily Variety, April 28). She is also a paid-up member of the Rupert Everett fan club, persuading the “My Best Friend’s Wedding” star to interview her in a televised life-story documentary earlier this year.

Paramount Pictures will distribute the film in North America and Lakeshore will handle international. Lakeshore has a 15-pic, five-year deal with Paramount for films in the $15 million-to-$30 million range.

Last week Lakeshore acquired international rights to the low-budget drama “Miss Monday.”

Madonna’s acting credits include “Desperately Seeking Susan,” “Snake Eyes,” “Body of Evidence” and “Evita.” She is repped by CAA.

Everett has appeared in “Another Country,” “Dance With a Stranger,” “Pret-a-Porter” and “The Madness of King George.” He is repped by ICM.