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Roth in talks for ‘Tomcats’ as first pic

Poirier to pen, helm film

Former Disney studio topper Joe Roth is in negotiations to put together the first film deal for his as-yet-unnamed indie shingle.

“Tomcats” would be penned and helmed by Gregory Poirier, who scripted John Singleton’s 1997 drama “Rosewood”. Story centers on six pals who agree to ante up, with the last fellow to tie the knot receiving the jackpot.

Shannon Elizabeth, the source of much teen salivation in last year’s “American Pie” and the star of the Miramax suspenser spoof “Scream If You Know What I Did Last Halloween,” is in talks to topline. Jerry O’Connell, who’s starred in “Jerry Maguire,” “Scream 2” and the upcoming Disney pic “Mission to Mars,” is also in talks.

Budgeted in the $10 million-$12 million range, pic will be produced by Tony Ludwig and Alan Riche’s recently reflagged Eagle Cove Prods. (formerly Riche/Ludwig Prods.). The producing partners’ pics include “Empire Records” (1995), “Mouse Hunt” (1997) and last year’s actioner “Deep Blue Sea.” They are also producing the upcoming Nicolas Cage starrer “Family Man.”

While several studios are interested in the project, Roth is understood to be committed to making the movie, and is therefore thought by insiders familiar with the project to be the front-runner for any deal.

Poirier and O’Connell are repped by the William Morris Agency, Elizabeth by Suzanne Wohl of Gold-Marshak-Liedtke and attorney Marcy Morris. She is managed by Evolution Entertainment.

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