Messina key ingredient for 'Julie & Julia'

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Chris Messina is in negotiations to star opposite Amy Adams and Meryl Streep in Nora Ephron's comedy "Julie & Julia" for Columbia.

Messina is in line to play the husband of Adams' title character, a depressed government worker trying to add spice to her marriage and life by making every recipe in Julia Child's book "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." Streep plays the famed cookbook author in a parallel post-World War II story line. Stanley Tucci is set to play Child's husband.

Ephron adapted the script from Julie Powell's autobiographical book "Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen." Powell's husband Eric urged her to start a blog about the undertaking, which led to a large online following and her 2005 nonfiction best-seller.

Amy Robinson, Eric Steel, Laurence Mark and Ephron are producing the film. Scott Rudin and Dana Stevens will executive produce.

Principal photography is tentatively set to begin in March. Andrea Giannetti is overseeing the project for Columbia.

Messina, known for portraying Lauren Ambrose's boyfriend on the last season of "Six Feet Under," also starred as Ira in Magnolia Pictures' "Ira and Abby" alongside Jennifer Westfeldt. He next will appear opposite Scarlett Johansson and Penelope Cruz in Woody Allen's "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" and Patrick Dempsey in Paul Weiland's "Made of Honor."

Messina is repped by Endeavor and manager Jon Rubenstein of Authentic Management.
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