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Ben Stiller recycles ‘Used Guys’

Faris, Dayton in talks to direct futuristic comedy

Fox’s “Used Guys” has a new lease on life.

Three years after the studio pulled the plug on the futuristic comedy that had Jim Carrey and Ben Stiller onboard to star and Jay Roach directing, Fox is aiming to rebirth “Guys,” originally centered on a pair of obsolete pleasure clones, as more of a romantic comedy.

Stiller is now in talks to star and the “Little Miss Sunshine” team of Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton is in talks to direct. Reese Witherspoon’s been approached to take the lead female role.

Stiller’s also expected to produce through his Red Hour Films shingle.

Fox halted the film in May 2006, a month prior to the start of lensing, saying “Used Guys” wouldn’t be ready for its scheduled start date because of its futuristic sets. And due to the delays, the studio said, “Guys” wouldn’t wrap before Carrey and Stiller had other acting commitments.

But it turned out that Fox pulled the plug when the pic’s budget sailed past $110 million, even though the stars and Roach had agreed to work at reduced rates. “All the parties remain committed to making the picture when time permits,” the studio said at the time.

Stiller just signed on with Participant Media to direct “Help Me Spread Goodness,” which he’ll produce with Red Hour partner Stuart Cornfeld and Jeremy Kramer. He’s expected to reprise his role in the Paul Weitz-directed “Little Fockers” for Universal and next stars in “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian,” which Fox bows May 22.

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