'Grackle' has director circling

David O. Russell eyes Matthew McConaughey's comedy

David O. Russell is in negotiations to helm "The Grackle," Matthew McConaughey's Southern-fried comedy that's set up at New Line.

The New Orleans-set comedy centers on a barroom fighter who helps clients settle legal disputes with his fists.

"The Grackle" was a spec-script sensation for former lawyers Mike Arnold and Chris Poole several years ago and attracted studio interest before selling in a bidding war to New Line for an amount said to be in the seven figures.

After the initial frenzy in the summer of 2006, some thought a director would quickly follow, but news on the project leveled off before firing up again earlier this year.

Gus and Mark Gustawes are producing "Grackle" along with McConaughey.

The project represents one of the first New Line titles to move ahead after the studio was folded into Warner Bros. earlier this year.

Russell is known more for quirky comedies such as "Three Kings" and "Flirting With Disaster." His latest project is "Nailed," The Capitol Films take about a small-town waitress in Washington, D.C. which recently wrapped.

McConaughey stars in New Line's upcoming "The Ghosts of Girlfriend's Past," starring opposite Jennifer Garner in the tale of a bachelor haunted by past loves.