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‘Penelope’ finds leading lady

Ricci to star in laffer, Witherspoon's shingle will produce

HOLLYWOOD — Christina Ricci will star in laffer “Penelope,” to be produced by Reese Witherspoon’s Type-A Films and financed by Stone Village Pictures.

Script, a modern-day fable about a woman under a curse who tries to end a lifelong string of bad luck, is the first by “Everybody Love Raymond” supervising producer Leslie Caveny.

Pic will be helmer Mark Palansky’s feature debut.

Type-A developed the script but Stone Village will be financing production, budgeted between $10 million and $20 million.

Pic is set to lense in January. That would be after Ricci wraps on “Black Snake Moan,” in which she’ll star opposite Samuel L. Jackson in Craig Brewer’s “Hustle & Flow” follow-up.

“Penelope” is the first of a slate of features Stone Village plans to finance.

Producing with Witherspoon are Type A’s Jennifer Simpson and Stone Village’s Scott Steindorff. Stone Village veep Dylan Russell exec produces.

Steindorff recently exec produced HBO miniseries “Empire Falls,” which received 10 Emmy nominations. Other features in development at Stone Village include “Love in the Time of Cholera” and “The Tortilla Curtain.”

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