Legends on ‘Aviator’ list

Blanchett, Reilly, Beckinsale, Stefani set to sign on

Martin Scorsese is filling out his cast for his Howard Hughes biopic and Leonardo DiCaprio starrer, “The Aviator.”

With the pic nearing its July start date, Cate Blanchett, John C. Reilly, Kate Beckinsale and Gwen Stefani are close to signing on.

Blanchett would play Katharine Hepburn who had a tumultous three-year affair with the neurotic aero-tycoon and figures largely in the “Aviator” script by John Logan.

Beckinsale would appear as Ava Gardner, Hughes’ love interest after he splits with Hepburn in the pic.

In some unusual casting, rocker Stefani has signed on to play Jean Harlow. Much like Harlow when Hughes cast her in World War I dogfight epic “Hell’s Angels,” Stefani has never had a major film role.

Though the No Doubt frontwoman has been looking to launch an acting career, her credits don’t go far beyond appearing briefly in “Zoolander” and a guest appearance on “Dawson’s Creek.”

Reilly is in negotiations to appear as Noah Dietrich, Hughes’ righthand man. It would be the second Scorsese film for Reilly who played an Irish gang member turned cop in “Gangs of New York.”

Shooting on “Aviator” is skedded for a July start in Montreal. The $100-plus million pic is co-produced by Initial Entertainment Group, Miramax and Warner Bros. For the domestic release Miramax will handle marketing with Warners taking care of distribution. IEG, which is handling foreign distrib, pitched the pic in Cannes last month.

Blanchett is repped by William Morris, Beckinsale and Reilly by ICM. Stefani is managed by Rebel Waltz and repped by UTA for film.

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