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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Steve Carell could make 'Beaver' speak

Actor attached to project recently nabbed by Anonymous

By Steven Zeitchik

NEW YORK -- One of the hottest scripts in development circles at the moment centers on ... a beaver puppet?

Anonymous Content recently picked up "The Beaver," a script from first-time writer Kyle Killen about a man who walks around with a beaver puppet on his hand, treating it as something close to a human creature with human feelings. It's a whimsical and winning script, according to those who have seen it.

But the real selling point is the talent attached: Steve Carell, who could play the lead.

The fable, which occupies the fantastical territory somewhere between "Being John Malkovich" and "Lars and the Real Girl," has a lot of studios interested. No one's able to buy it yet because Anonymous is seeking a director first. (At one point, there was word that Jay Roach might come on board, though that seems unlikely.) But expect it to move quickly.

Killen is one of those spec-writer rags-to-riches stories -- a 30ish USC grad whose writing career until now has consisted of writing for small literary magazines. He follows a tradition that this year alone includes such previous unknowns as Michael Martin and Brad Ingelsby.

Carell, meanwhile, has a number of projects to choose from in his springtime hiatus from NBC's "The Office." The star is weighing such projects as "Get Smart 2" and the Napoleonic comedy "Brigadier Gerard" for this year. Soon you might be able to toss a woodland creature into the mix.