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Woody’s most wanted duo

Troubled stars ink for helmer's next film

Robert Downey Jr. and Winona Ryder are in talks to join the cast of Woody Allen’s next pic, which is skedded to shoot in the fall and will be distribbed by Fox Searchlight.

Like all Allen films, the title, script and plot are being kept secret.

Both stars have been working to get past their past legal problems and have kept their dance cards relatively full.

Downey next toplines “The Singing Detective” for Par’s specialty label, Paramount Classics, and also stars in the thriller “Gothika,” from French helmer Mathieu Kassovitz, which is in post-production at Warner Bros. Pictures.

Ryder next stars in Milos Forman’s “Embers,” opposite Sean Connery, based on the novel of the same name by Sandor Marai, and she is attached to Robert Altman’s WWII drama “The Widow Claire.”

She last appeared in 2002 pics “S1m0ne” for New Line Cinema and Columbia’s “Mr. Deeds.”

Allen’s distrib deal with Fox Searchlight (Daily Variety, June 16) is for only one pic. It’s also the first time all worldwide territories on an Allen film will be handled by one company in a decade.

His last four movies — “Small Time Crooks” “Curse of the Jade Scorpion,” “Hollywood Ending” and “Anything Else” — were backed in part and distribbed domestically by DreamWorks Pictures.

Allen’s newest film, the Jason Biggs and Christina Ricci starrer “Anything Else,” will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival this August. While 10 of the helmer’s pics have unspooled at Venice since 1982, his visit there this August will be his first to the fest. “Anything” bows in the U.S. bow on Sept. 16.

Downey Jr. and Ryder, like Allen, are repped by ICM.

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