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Judd jumping to ‘Dexterity’

McConaughey circling romantic drama

Paramount Pictures is in final negotiations with Ashley Judd to topline the romantic drama “Dexterity.”

Matthew McConaughey is also understood to be in talks to star. Both thesps starred in 1996’s “A Time to Kill.”

Pic is about a couple working in a decaying industrial town located in upstate New York. Their relationship and way of life are both altered when the factory in which they both work goes belly up.

“Dexterity’s” ultimate budget is still undecided, but insiders described it as “modest.” Par is expected to co-finance the pic with producers Mark Gordon and Gary Levinsohn, both partners at the Par-based Mutual Film Co.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said “Dexterity” scribe Karen Croner, referring to the pic, which has sat in development since 1990 (when its first producer was current Par topper Sherry Lansing). “These are absolutely the right people for it.”

Judd currently stars in the Par’s $100 million-plus grosser “Double Jeopardy.” She also starred in Par’s thriller “Kiss the Girls.”

“With the millennium coming, it’s a good time to look at where we’ve come from, and this movie does that in some ways. It’s about the passing of a way of life,” Croner said.

No director is attached to the pic.

Judd is repped by the William Morris Agency’s Michelle Stern. McConaughey is repped by AMG; Croner by CAA.