Barrymore dials long distance


Drew Barrymore will star opposite Justin Long in "Going the Distance," a romantic comedy for New Line. Adam Shankman and Jennifer Gibgot are producing via their Offspring Entertainment banner, and Nanette Burstein is directing.

The story by first-time scribe Geoff LaTulippe follows a couple trying to maintain a long- distance relationship.

LaTulippe was a New Line script reader who segued into screenwriting, and "Distance" contains an imprint from his life: The male lead also is a script reader.

The female lead is a character who moves to Chicago to be a middle school teacher.

Barrymore's deal brings her back into the fold at New Line, for which she starred in and produced the ensemble romantic comedy "He's Just Not That Into You." It also reunites her with Long, who co-starred in "Into You," which has grossed more than $91 million since its February bow.

"On 'He's Just Not That Into You,' Drew as a producer was instrumental in bringing Justin in. On this movie, Justin helped bring her in. He brought it to her attention," said New Line president Toby Emmerich, who added that the project continues New Line's tradition of in-house projects.

In addition to LaTulippe being a staffer-turned-writer, the idea came from assistant-turned-exec Dave Neustadter. The company's Richard Brener, who mentored Neustadter, continues to oversee the project's development.

The CAA-repped Barrymore recently wrapped her directorial debut, the roller derby-set "Whip It!" She stars with Ellen Page in the Mandate film. (partialdiff)