While gearing up for one heckuva busy production schedule, Working Title Films has nabbed the actress responsible for their biggest box office hit to date (Notting Hill) for a new biopic on the wildlife conservationist Joan Root. Variety reports that Julia Roberts has signed on to star as Root (who was shot dead in her Kenyan home earlier this year), tapping David Magee (Finding Neverland) to pen a script which was inspired by the Vanity Fair article A Flowering Evil. Pic will follow Root during her earlier years when she teamed with her husband on a number of acclaimed nature documentaries in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
It's a different role for Roberts (who hasn't starred in a live action film since 2004), but one that could definitely garner her another best actress nomination should all the right chips fall into place. She will next be seen this fall in the much-hyped Charlie Wilson's War, starring opposite Tom Hanks and Philip Seymour Hoffman. As for Working Title, this Joan Root project is one of four that are being prepped to shoot early next year; they include Richard Curtis' The Boat That Rocked, Paul Greengrass' Imperial Life in the Emerald City and the Coen Bros.' A Serious Man. Aside from those four, WT also have six pics set to go into production by the end of this year. Go Working Title! For those familiar with the life of Joan Root, do you feel Roberts is a good choice to play her?