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Shainberg guiding a ‘Townie’

Weinstein, Maguire to produce

“Secretary” helmer Steven Shainberg has come aboard to develop “Urban Townie” for Warner Bros. Pictures with a view to direct it.

Pic, to be produced by Paula Weinstein through Spring Creek Prods. and Tobey Maguire’s production shingle Maguire Entertainment, may be one of the first projects to go into production at the studio since the split between Weinstein and her former producing partner Barry Levinson. Split occurred after their shingle Baltimore-Spring Creek inked a three-year first-look production deal at studio in February (Daily Variety, Feb. 2).

Levinson no longer has a production deal at the studio while Weinstein continues the shingle’s overall production deal at Warners via Spring Creek.

At this stage there is no deal for Maguire to star, though he has expressed potential interest in the lead.

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“Townie,” penned by tyro scribe Jesse Wigutow, details the adventures of a Holden Caulfield-type who returns home for his estranged father’s funeral — only to discover his ex is now with his best friend.

At one stage both Brad Pitt and helmer Mike Figgis were circling the pic but subsequently both opted out.

Wigutow’s reps in Benderspink will also co-produce. Wigutow and the ICM-repped Shainberg are working on a rewrite of the script though the studio has yet to greenlight pic or set a firm start date.

Warner Bros. Pictures execs Greg Silverman and Alysia Cotter are overseeing the project at the studio.

Wigutow is also in development with such scripts as “Fool’s Gold” and “Seared” at New Line and “The Ride Down Mt. Morgan” for WB-based Furthur Films.

Weinstein is producing the studio’s action/adventure comedy “Looney Tunes: Back in Action,” scheduled for release Nov. 14, and the HBO project “Iron Jawed Angels.”