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Bates a Queen for ’80 Days’

Actress reteams with 'Waterboy' helmer

HOLLYWOOD — Kathy Bates has signed on to play Queen Victoria in “Around the World in 80 Days.” She’ll star opposite Jackie Chan, Steve Coogan, Jim Broadbent, Johnny Knoxville and Belgian thesp Cecile de France.

Pic, which started lensing March 13 in Thailand, is moving to Studio Babelsberg in Germany in April for a three-month shoot.

Bill Badalato and Hal Lieberman are producing for Philip Anschutz’s Walden Media.

Company is financing the reinterpretation of the 1956 adventure pic with Frank Coraci (“The Wedding Singer,” “The Waterboy”) aboard as helmer.

Pic reteams the ICM-repped Bates with her “About Schmidt” producer Badalato and with helmer Coraci, who directed her in “The Waterboy.”

Pic, penned by Michael D. Weiss and David Tichter, is based on the Jules Verne novel and set during the Industrial Revolution. But unlike the version that starred David Niven as intrepid adventurer Phileas Fogg, emphasis in the new pic shifts to Chan’s Passepartout character who, after stealing a valuable jade Buddha, seeks refuge with London inventor Fogg (Coogan).

“Kathy is the funniest dramatic actress ever. No, actually she is the most dramatic comedy actress ever,” Coraci said. “Either way, she is the best and I cannot wait to work with her again.”