Bad News Bears: Paramount has penned Greg Kinnear into its lineup opposite Billy Bob Thornton for the remake of The Bad News Bears.

The comedy, with Richard Linklater directing and Geyer Kosinski producing through his Media Talent Group shingle, is expected to begin lensing next month for a 2005 release.

"The Bad News Bears" has been holding casting tryouts in recent weeks for young thesps with baseball skills in a variety of locales, including Phoenix, Los Angeles, Toronto, Chicago, Dallas, Vancouver, New Orleans, Atlanta and Seattle, as well as Orlando, Fla., and Washington, D.C.

"Bad News Bears" reteams Thornton with Bad Santa writers Glenn Ficarra and John Requa in a contemporary remake of the studio's 1976 comedy, which starred Tatum O'Neal and Walter Matthau.