Reese Witherspoon is heading back into romantic comedy territory with The Beard. Chernin Entertainment has dipped into its discretionary fund to pick up the project, a spec script by Becca Greene. Witherspoon will star in the project and produce with Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping of Cherinin Entertainment and Mason Novick. While it might be tempting to see a story about Witherspoon growing facial hair, the “beard” in the title refers to a member of the opposite sex -- usually a woman -- who acts as a date for a gay person, giving the illusion the person isn’t gay. Story details were not revealed. Witherspoon is shooting Devil’s Knot, Atom Egoyan’s take on the West Memphis Three murder case that also stars Colin Firth. She also has the indie drama Mud, with Matthew McConaughey, in the can. Her most recently romantic comedy was the action-filled This Means War with Tom Hardy and Chris Pine; the movie grossed $156 million worldwide.
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