EXCLUSIVE: Steve Carell has begun negotiating to star with Meryl Streep in the David Frankel-directed Great Hope Springs, I’m told. Mandate Pictures is in talks with Carell to play Dr. Feld, a marriage therapist who tries to help a couple rekindle their loveless relationship after 31 years of marriage. Streep plays the wife and Frankel will soon set an actor to play her husband. Vanessa Taylor wrote the script and Steep officially signed on to re-team with The Devil Wears Prada director Frankel earlier this month. Escape Artists’ Todd Black and Film 360’s Guymon Casady are producing. Shooting starts August.

It’s an intriguing role for Carell as he transitions to full time movie acting after leaving the long-running NBC series The Office. Carell’s run ends with the help of pal Will Ferrell, who signed on to play a branch manager over a four-episode arc that will end one episode after Carell’s Michael Scott exits. Carell will do Great Hope Springs next, followed by Burt Wonderstone for New Line. Carell will next be seen starring with Ryan Gosling and Julianne Moore in Crazy, Stupid Love. Dan Fogelman wrote the script and Glenn Ficarra and John Requa directed it, with Warner Bros releasing it July 29. WME and Media Four rep Carell.