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Russell Crowe Almost As Good As Brad Pitt, Says Universal

Photo: Getty Images (Crowe), WireImage (Pitt)

Crowe to the Rescue! Who says desperation doesn’t pay off? In a follow-up to Tuesday’s item, after a weekend of wooing by the studio and director Kevin MacDonald, Russell Crowe is now in final negotiations to save Universal’s star-packed political thriller State of Play by taking over the lead role recently vacated by Brad Pitt. [Reuters]

Russell Hears Bedtime Stories: Keri Russell is negotiating to play Adam Sandler’s love interest in Bedtime Stories, a Disney comedy about a real-estate developer (Sandler) whose bedtime stories to his niece and nephew start coming true. How much you wanna bet one of them involves an unwatchable Robin Williams cameo? [HR]

Bedingfeld Album Pushed Back: Natasha Bedingfeld’s forthcoming sophomore album, N.B., is delayed a second time and is now targeted for a January 18 release. If we were more mature, we wouldn’t make jokes about how the songs are probably still unwritten, but we aren’t. [Billboard]

Gypsy Takes Broadway: A new production of the Stephen Sondheim musical Gypsy, starring Patti LuPone and seen only in a limited engagement this past summer at New York’s City Center, will open on Broadway in March 2008. Director and co-creator Arthur Laurents felt that the summer run was too short to adequately irritate Bernadette Peters. [Playbill]

Cusack Takes Job at Factory: John Cusack will star in Dark Castle’s The Factory, a thriller about a cop won the trail of a serial killer who drops all professional restraint after his daughter disappears. Cusack’s a fine actor, but it’s a little hard to imagine Lloyd Dobler giving a suspect a beat-down. [HR]