Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Bradley Cooper is back in talks to star in The Silver Linings Playbook, as it looks like Mark Wahlberg will be leaving the film over what some were saying is a scheduling conflict. And Cooper’s Limitless costar Robert De Niro is also now in the conversation to join the cast. This is The Weinstein Company adaptation of the Matthew Quick novel that David O Russell will direct this fall. Cooper had reportedly been attached to the film last year, but more recently it looked like the star would be Russell’s The Fighter cohort Wahlberg. I’m told that talks are getting underway for Cooper to star with Jennifer Lawrence, who’ll play the female lead role

Wahlberg will exit the movie because the production start was pushed and it now bumps up against another obligation. I’m still digging, but I think the other Wahlberg movie is Broken City, the noir drama that Wahlberg is poised to star in for director Allen Hughes. In that film, Wahlberg is in talks to play a cop-turned-private eye who gets caught up in a corruption scandal involving the city mayor. Russell Crowe has been offered the role of the mayor, so it sounds like that project is crystallizing with funding from Emmett/Furla Films. The scheduling complexity arose when Lawrence won the female lead over a crop of young actresses. Because she’s shooting The Hunger Games, she needed the picture to start later than expected, and that created the conflict for Wahlberg.

The Silver Linings Playbook revolves around a former high school teacher who was institutionalized for depression and then released into the care of his mother. He tries to win back his ex-wife but becomes involved with an eccentric neighbor with problems of her own. That is the part that Lawrence will play, a job she won amidst competition from a group of top young actresses who became interested after Anne Hathaway (who was originally attached with Cooper) fell out because of her schedule on the Christopher Nolan-directed Batpic The Dark Knight Rises.

Cooper’s coming off The Hangover Part II, and he’s currently shooting The Place Beyond The Pines, the Derek Cianfrance-directed drama that also stars Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes. Cooper’s repped by CAA, as is De Niro.

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