Macy and Ryan Make Deal

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William H. Macy and Meg Ryan will topline The Deal, based on Peter Lefcourt’s comedic novel about Hollywood.

Variety says Macy co-wrote the script with his longtime collaborator Steven Schachter (“The Wool Cap,” “Door to Door”), who’s directing. Shooting begins in South Africa in March.

Macy will play a down-on-his-luck Hollywood producer who cons a major studio into financing a $100 million action adventure script about 19th century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. When the leading man gets kidnapped, and the picture is shut down, the producer and a Hollywood studio executive use the studio’s blocked funds to make a completely different picture without telling the studio.

According to the trade, the film is a passion project for Macy, who’s spent the last two years raising the almost $8 million budget with all non-Hollywood investors.