ROLE CALL: ‘The Insider’ Picks a ‘Plum’?

The Insider‘s” Russell Crowe is looking to get the skinny on Claire Danes in the Jodie Foster-directed drama “Flora Plum.”

The Hollywood Reporter notes that the actor is in negotiations to join Foster and company on the Depression-era romance, which is slated to begin filming in late summer or early fall.

The story involves a circus freak played by Crowe who falls for a penniless girl (Danes) after taking her in and helping her become a star. Steven Rodgers (“Hope Floats“) is the screenwriter.

GOTTA HAVE HART: Melissa Joan Hart‘s obsession is the 1947 RKO romantic comedy “The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer”. The teen fave’s Heartbreak Films and RKO’s independent film arm, Radio Pictures, are teaming up to remake the demi-classic. Hart will star and produce.

The original flick featured Cary Grant and Shirley Temple in the tale of a playboy sentenced by a judge to spend time with the court official’s younger sister.

According to the Reporter, the all-new “Bobby-Soxer” will offer a “contemporary look at teen angst.” Hart, of ABC’s “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” was last seen on the big screen in 1999’s “Drive Me Crazy.”

KEEPING UP WITH THE JONZE: “Being John Malkovich” director Spike Jonze is investigating “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”

According to trade-paper reports, the filmmaker is in final negotiations to make the Paramount Pictures drama. Charlie Kaufman, the screenwriter who penned “Malkovich,” might reteam with Jonze on the project — based on an F. Scott Fitzgerald short story. Robin Swicord (“Little Women“) scripted the initial draft.

Fitzgerald’s tale detailed the life of a man who ages backwards. At 50, he falls in love with a 30-year-old woman and is forced to deal with the consequences of their physical dilemma.

The Hollywood Reporter notes that no start date has yet been set.