Just before the end of last year, there was a little bit of an update on the Phillip Noyce front. While he ruled out directing a sequel to “Salt,” we heard that he was eyeing the true life conversation story “Our Wild Life.” And then that was all we had heard. The film has a bit of an interesting history. Lat year Nick Cassavetes (”The Notebook”) was circling the project—then known as “Peaceable Kingdom” or “Elephant Orphanage”—but he bailed acrimoniously in what resulted in an ugly lawsuit. Slightly more tantalizingly, Walter Salles (”The Motorcycle Diaries”) became attached to the project later on and Julia Roberts was rumored to have been eyeing the lead. Salles is now off the project and Roberts’ participation never seemed to materialize. Rumors then pegged Kate Winslet as having been offered the lead role, but her reps denied involvement (other actresses said to be interested at one point were Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Drew Barrymore). Well, it looks like one of those names is possibly back in the mix.
The Wrap, in a pretty strange and seemingly way too early story, reports that Nicole Kidman has “read and liked the script” while her agency CAA confirms she is not attached. So this is a maybe-she-will post but honestly, we predict she won’t be in it. More on that in a second.
The film is based on the life of Daphne Sheldrick, who famously devoted her life to preventing the extinction of elephants in Kenya. Jeff Stockwell (”The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys”) wrote one of the earlier drafts of the film, but part of the reason Cassavetes sued New Line is that he did a major overhaul of the screenplay, thought he was going to direct and was incensed when they told him his services were no longer needed once he turned in his new draft. It appears that Stockwell is still involved, but we’d guess that given the lawsuit, Cassavetes’ draft of the script has been frozen and won’t be used.
But here’s the the thing, producers want to mount the film in September, but Kidman is hitting Broadway with James Franco right around the same time for “Sweet Bird Of Youth.” So either the play isn’t happening anymore or The Wrap is premature. Guess we’ll soon find out.