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Could Chris O’Dowd’s acting pursuits be pointing him toward a higher, holier calling?

That’s the word from Deadline, which reports that the Irish comedian is in early negotiations to join Ted Melfi’s St. Vincent De Van Nuys, a film that would cast him as a Catholic priest. Should he sign on, O’Dowd would be in excellent company. As we reported earlier, Melfi already has attracted Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy to the project.

McCarthy, who co-starred with O’Dowd on Paul Feig’s Bridesmaids, would play a hard-working single mother who hands her child over to a cantankerous old man (Murray) to watch over him while she slaves away at her various jobs. The man often counsels with a parish priest (O’Dowd), whose sympathetic to the situation, but shocked at all of the horrible habits and terrible life lessons Murray’s character chooses to pass down to the impressionable 12-year-old kid.

Deadline compares Melfi’s one-time Black List script as being in the vein of As Good as It Gets, or even David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook (it’s not coincidental that The Weinstein Company will back St. Vincent when it finally reaches theaters.)

Needless to say, this would be a huge “get” for O’Dowd, who is about to burst onto a few more scenes once audiences catch sight of him in the winning musical comedy The Sapphires, where he borrows more than a few pages from Tom Hanks’ That Thing You Do playbook as a foul-mouthed concert promoter. But a scene-stealing part in an art-house drama is nothing compared to being the third leg in a comedy triangle made up of McCarthy and Murray, so if O’Dowd’s smart, these conversations will lead to a “Yes” before St. Vincent De Van Nuys starts shooting in July.