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‘Orient’ may rise at MGM

Weiss gender-bends Sellers classic

MGM is in negotiations with Shutt-Jones Prods. to produce a reimagining of the Peter Sellers comedy “The World of Henry Orient” based on a pitch by Lizzy Weiss.

Directed by George Roy Hill and based on the novel by Nora Johnson, the original 1964 film, released by United Artists, concerns two adolescent girls who grow obsessed with concert pianist Henry Orient (Sellers) and follow him all over Manhattan –which becomes especially annoying while he’s trying to seduce a married woman.

Weiss, who will pen the script, has a vision that’s substantially different: In her modern-day take, the object of the girls’ affections is a successful woman whom they admire and trail in hopes of learning how they can be like her when they grow up.

Buffy Shutt and Kathy Jones will produce the film, with Shutt-Jones VP of development Martin Navis overseeing the project. The MGM execs on the project are exec veep of production Elizabeth Carroll and director of development Dylan Clark.

Weiss, who is repped by UTA and attorney Brian Wolf, most recently completed production rewrites on Walt Disney’s romantic drama “At Seventeen,” directed by John Stockwell and starring Kirsten Dunst. Weiss is also developing the “untitled surf girl project” at Universal-based Imagine Entertainment with Imagine director of development Suzy Barberi.

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