09/29/2004 at 08:00 AM EDT
Sean Penn and Jude Law are looking to have some celebrated company in the forthcoming all-star remake of the political drama All the King's Men: Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet and Mark Ruffalo.
The Hollywood Reporter says all three actors are in talks to join the film project, which is as well pedigreed as its cast.
The classic 1949 movie, adapted from the celebrated Robert Penn Warren novel loosely based on controversial Louisiana Gov. Huey "The Kingfish" Long, won Oscars as Best Picture and for its leading actor, Broderick Crawford, and supporting actress Mercedes McCambridge.
Penn is set to play the Long character, called Willie Stark, with Law to appear as protagonist Jack Burden, a journalist captivated, for better or worse, by Stark. Streep's role would be the one originally played by McCambridge, as one of Stark's most trusted political consultants.
Current real-life political consultant James Carville is also onboard the project, as one of the movie's producers.
In other casting news, Melissa Etheridge has closed a deal to star in an ABC sitcom that the Reporter describes as a nontraditional family comedy.
In a sort of Will & Grace role reversal, Etheridge, 43, would play a music teacher who lives with her best friend, a straight man. The couple are raising the daughter of another friend.
No debut date for the as-yet-untitled project has been announced.