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Silverstone ‘Stands’

Actress to star in, exec produce 'Man'

With her latest co-starring stint in the can (Hugh Wilson’s “Blast from the Past” for New Line), Alicia Silverstone is set to star in Avenue Pictures’ comedy “Stand By Your Man,” based on an original screenplay by Andy Borowitz.

Avenues’ Cary Brokaw will produce and Silverstone and Carolyn Kessler will serve as executive producers under their First Kiss Prods. banner.

Pic is about a Southern girl (Silverstone) from the wrong side of the tracks who manipulates her way to overnight fame by romancing and marrying America’s most notorious murderer as he awaits his highly publicized execution. Her 15 minutes tick by quickly and soon turns to misery when her “husband” is found innocent and released after the real killer confesses.

Avenue currently is out to directors on the project. With Silverstone onboard, the company has begun talks with studios to take on the domestic rights of the film. Avenue will retain foreign rights, and will look to co-finance the $12 million to $14 million budget through pre-sales.

Silverstone, who made her feature acting debut on the 1993 film “The Crush,” starred in the surprise hit “Clueless” and appeared as Batgirl in last year’s “Batman and Robin.” She last starred in “Excess Baggage,” which First Kiss produced for Columbia Pictures.

“Stand By Your Man” had been under option with TriStar a few years ago, but it reverted back to Borowitz, a veteran TV writer best known as the creator of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” series starring Will Smith. Brokaw said he had read the script when it was at TriStar and jumped at the chance to pick it up when it became available.

Avenue — which produced such films as “Restoration,” “Short Cuts” and “The Player” — recently produced “Finding Graceland,” starring Harvey Keitel, Bridget Fonda and Jonathon Schaech for Largo Entertainment. The publicly traded company also is developing film versions of Tony Kushner’s legit shows “Angels in America” and Walker Percy’s novel “The Moviegoer,” scripted by Terence Malick.