February 14, 2009 at 05:24 AM EST

Paul Rudd is in early talks to join director Jay Roach in the DreamWorks comedy Dinner For Schmucks, EW has learned exclusively. There is still an offer out to Steve Carell to join the project, too, but as of this posting, the comedian had yet to accept the role. This long-gestating project, a remake of Francis Veber’s French comedy Le Diner de Cons, centers on a self-absorbed man whose life is sent into a tailspin when the man he chooses to bring to a “Dinner for Schmucks” turns out to be more than he bargained for. Back in 2006, Sacha Baron Cohen was attached to star as the schmuckiest guest, but he dropped out over scheduling issues. Looks like Carell, if he accepts the part, will take on that role, while Rudd will play the self-absorbed man. 

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