Nicole Kidman as a Russian mail-order bride? Yes, says Variety, which reports that the actress is in final negotiations to star in “Birthday Girl,” which will shoot at the end of May. Kidman’s character is sent for by an unassuming young bank manager living in suburban St. Albans, just outside London. But he gets more than he bargained for when her entire family descends upon him. Jez Butterworth, who made his directing debut with the little-noticed “Mojo,” will shoot this Miramax film from a script he co-wrote with his brother Tom.

  • In other movie news, “Saturday Night Live” cast member Molly Shannon has landed the female lead alongside Jim Carrey in the live-action “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” Shannon will play Betty Lou Who, mother of Cindy Lou Who, who is roused from her sleep by the Grinch as he tries to plunder Christmas from Whoville. Mrs. Who is not in the original Dr. Seuss book but becomes a big presence in the feature. Ron (“EDtv”) Howard is scheduled to begin shooting the film Aug. 9.
  • Jim Carrey is also reportedly set to re-team with Peter and Bobby Farrelly, with whom he did the seminal “Dumb and Dumber.” (The brothers also did “There’s Something About Mary.”) The new project will be something called “Me, Myself and Irene,” in which Carrey will play a Rhode Island state trooper with a split personality, both of whom fall in love with a woman named Irene.
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