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Blunt, Segel added to ‘Travels’

Duo join Jack Black in Letterman-directed film

Twentieth Century Fox is negotiating with Emily Blunt and Jason Segel to join Jack Black in “Gulliver’s Travels,” the Rob Letterman-directed reimagining of the classic Jonathan Swift tale.

John Davis and Ben Cooley are producing.

Blunt had already been offered the role of Black Widow in “Iron Man 2,” but that may not be an option because of “Gulliver’s Travels.” Fox holds an option on the actress that was part of her deal when she co-starred in “The Devil Wears Prada,” and the studio may invoke it to see that she takes part in the giant tale.

While Blunt’s reps are still trying to work out scheduling so she can play both roles, it will be an uphill battle because of scheduling overlap. “Gulliver’s Travels” will shoot in the U.K. in late March; “Iron Man 2” is expected to begin lensing in early April in Manhattan Beach, Calif.

Earlier this week it seemed that Marvel Entertainment would have to go back to the drawing board to find an actress to play Natasha Romanoff, the Soviet superspy who moonlights as Black Widow, a beauty in a skintight black costume enhanced by high-tech weaponry. But by late Thursday, it looked like Fox and Blunt’s reps were feeling more optimistic that she could do both projects.

Black was set late last year to play Lemuel Gulliver, a travel writer who takes an assignment to the Bermuda Triangle and washes up on the island of Lilliput, where he’s a giant among the tiny population. Blunt will play a Lilliputian princess and Black’s love interest. Segel will play Horatio, Gulliver’s best friend from Lilliput who helps rescue Gulliver when he’s captured.

Segel reteams with his “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” director Nicholas Stoller, who scripted “Gulliver’s Travels” with Joe Stillman. Segel, a regular on CBS sitcom “How I Met Your Mother,” joined Steve Carell, Julie Andrews and Will Arnett in the voice cast of “Despicable Me,” the first film generated by Chris Meledandri’s Universal-based Illumination Entertainment shingle. Universal will release the film on July 9, 2010.

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