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Judge trolling ‘Limpet’ seas

Producers seeking Carrey to reconsider project

Mike Judge is in negotiations to direct and co-write “The Incredible Mr. Limpet” for Warner Bros.-based Gerber Pictures and Baltimore/Spring Creek Pictures. Judge’s writing partner would be Clay Tarver. The producers are eyeing an early 2001 start date for the pic.

Warner Bros. had spent serious cash on pre-production for “Limpet” when director Steve Odekerk exited over high-tension creative differences (Daily Variety, March 3, 1999); star Jim Carrey followed suit soon thereafter. (Daily Variety, July 2).With Judge now heading the creative team, however, sources say that the producers would present the project to Carrey once more. Also on the short list to star are Chris Rock, Mike Myers and Adam Sandler.

In the original, Don Knotts played a mild-mannered fellow who fell into the water, turned into an animated fish and helped the U.S. Navy spot Nazi subs.

The contemporary “Limpet” began its development path in October 1996. Like its predecessor, the modern-day “Limpet” will blend live-action with animation.

The project is being produced by Barry Levinson and Paula Weinstein through their Baltimore/Spring Creek and Bill Gerber through Gerber Pictures.

Judge, who is known for creating “Beavis and Butt-head” as well as the current Fox TV series “King of the Hill,” made his feature writing-and-directing debut with “Office Space.” He is also attached to direct “Messiah,” a comedy by Josh Sternin and Jeff Ventimilia that is set up at Columbia Pictures-based Tall Tree Prods. for Betty Thomas and Jenno Topping to produce.

Judge is repped by CAA and 3 Arts Entertainment. Tarver, who penned the upcoming “Squelch” with J.J. Abrams, is repped by AMG.