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Chris Lowell eyes 'The Help'

Also stars Emma Stone; based on Kathryn Stockett's book

"Private Practice" star Chris Lowell is in negotiations to join the cast of DreamWorks' "The Help," based on Kathryn Stockett's novel.

The project begins shooting in the summer in Mississippi with Tate Taylor making his feature directorial debut. He also adapted the screenplay.

"Help" stars Emma Stone as Skeeter, an aspiring writer in 1960s Mississippi. Uncomfortable with the social norms around her, she sets out to write a book chronicling the way black maids are being treated by society.

Viola Davis and Bryce Dallas Howard also star.

Lowell will play Skeeter's boyfriend, Stuart Whitworth, a senator's son who eventually breaks up with her because of the book.

Michael Barnathan, Chris Columbus and Mark Radcliffe of 1492 Pictures will produce with Taylor and his producing partner Brunson Green of Harbinger Pictures.

Lowell, repped by WME and Thruline Entertainment, most recently appeared in "Up in the Air." A regular on ABC's "Private Practice" since it premiered in 2007, Lowell's character, William "Dell" Parker, died on the operating table last week.