Jack Nicholson has agreed to play the devil in the movie version of John Updike's "The Witches of Eastwick," The Times has learned.

According to an informed source close to the negotiations, Nicholson flew to Los Angeles last weekend from his home in Aspen, Colo., to meet with director George Miller ("Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome").

Sandy Bresler, Nicholson's longtime agent, refused to comment on the deal and told a reporter, "You'll have to clear all of that through Warner Bros." (the studio releasing the film). Phone calls to studio president Mark Canton were not returned.

In the book, three New England women experimenting with witchcraft conjure up the devil. Shooting is expected to start this spring.

As for the witches, the studio is reported to be close to a deal with Anjelica Huston and also has been talking with Debra Winger.

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