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Breslin, Vassilieva to star in ‘Keeper’

Duo replaces Fanning sisters in New Line film

In a cast shakeup involving the young stars of “My Sister’s Keeper,” Abigail Breslin will replace Elle Fanning and Sofia Vassilieva is near a deal to replace Dakota Fanning in the New Line drama directed by Nick Cassavetes.

Sources said Dakota Fanning balked at a request that she shave her head for the role and both sisters withdrew abruptly.

Breslin, who was Oscar-nominated for “Little Miss Sunshine,” will take over the role of a young girl who sues for emancipation from parents who conceived her as a genetic match so she could prolong the life of her ailing older sister. Vassilieva (“Medium”) would play the older sister.

Cameron Diaz plays the mother of the girls, a tough lawyer who takes her own case in court. Alec Baldwin plays the attorney who represents the child. Joan Cusack will also star in the drama, a Jeremy Leven-scripted adaptation of the Jodi Picoult novel.

Production is still on track for March, with Mark Johnson and Chuck Pacheco producing.

Breslin stars in Universal’s “Definitely, Maybe.” She will next be seen in the Fox-Walden pic “Nim’s Island,” opening April 4, and she plays the title character in “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl,” which Picturehouse releases July 2.

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