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Linney to take bait in Oz

Thesp joining Christian-penned drama

Laura Linney is set to star in “Jindabyne,” an adaptation of a Raymond Carver short story set in Australia.

Gabriel Byrne, Deborra-Lee Furness, John Howard and Leah Purcell co-star; Ray Lawrence directs.

Scripted by Beatrix Christian, the drama revolves around a group of men who notice the body of an Aborigine girl at the bottom of their fishing hole. Rather than report the murder immediately, they wait until they’ve filled their coolers with fish, resulting in a scandal that tears through the men’s relationships.

If the plot sounds familiar, it’s because the Carver story was one of several used in the Robert Altman-directed ensemble drama “Short Cuts.” Catherine Jarman and Garry Charny are producing, and the film is independently financed. No domestic distributor has yet been set. Shooting begins in late March.

Linney is coming off “Kinsey,” playing the sex pioneer’s wife Clara. Thesp is currently shooting “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” for Screen Gems and Lakeshore.

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