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Stone eyeing ‘Muse’ role

Actress could star opposite Brooks

NEW YORK — Sharon Stone is negotiating to play the title character in “The Muse,” the comedy Albert Brooks co-wrote and will direct and star in for October Films, sources said.

Brooks will play a Hollywood screenwriter down on his luck who finds a real muse living in Los Angeles. The film will be produced by Herb Nanas. Brooks wrote the script with Monica Johnson.

Stone, a big fan of Brooks, has met with him on the script and is negotiating to make it her next film, subject to money talks going on right now.

“The Muse” is a top priority for October, and the drawing power of Stone would certainly help its continuing efforts to heighten the profile of its product. Brooks, who made his last comedy, “Mother,” at Paramount, was brought to October by company partners Scott Greenstein, Bingham Ray and John Schmidt.

Stone has two films in the can that are generating strong buzz. She stars in Miramax’s upcoming Peter Chelsom-directed pic “The Mighty,” for which she just stumped on the Cannes circuit. And she plays the title character in the Sidney Lumet-directed “Gloria,” the Mandalay/Columbia remake of the John Cassavetes film that garnered Gena Rowlands an Oscar nomination. Stone reprises the role of a woman who tries to protect a child targeted for execution by the mafia.

Stone also is awaiting a draft of the “Basic Instinct” sequel for United Artists being scripted by Henry Bean and Leora Barish, which looms as a possible project. Stone has made upwards of $5 million a picture, but reprising her icepick-wielding sociopathic role in a “Basic” sequel could be worth much more to her.

The actress is managed by Chuck Binder, who wouldn’t comment. Nor would October.

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