Julia Roberts appears to be on hot streak as of late. The Oscar winning actress recently earned an Emmy nomination for her supporting performance in the HBO adaptation of The Normal Heart. She also earned her fourth Academy Award nomination earlier this year for her acclaimed performance in the family drama August: Osage County. Currently, she’s in negotiations to co-star in the English language adaptation of the 2009 Argentinean drama The Secret in Their Eyes. The original film, written and directed by Juan José Campanella, won the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award. If this comes to fruition, Roberts looks to join an all-star cast that includes fellow Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), and Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow.
The project, from a script by yet another Oscar nominee, screenwriter Billy Ray (Captain Phillips), is moving ahead in preparation for a planned October shoot in Los Angeles. The story revolves around a former attorney haunted both personally and professionally by a decades-old unresolved case. In a bid to find closure, he writes a novel detailing the past events which begin to open new doors.
Reportedly, Roberts’ participation warranted a script rewrite, as her part was initially written for a male. Ray, whose writing work includes The Hunger Games and State of Play, will also direct– he previously scripted and directed the films Breach (2007) and Shattered Glass (2003.)
The original The Secret in Their Eyes was one of the most popular films ever to come out of Argentina. On top of its Oscar win (where it bested critical international triumphs like Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon and Jacques Audiard’s A Prophet), the movie was one of the all-time grossers in its native country. An American remake has long in the works– many years ago Oscar winning actor Denzel Washington looked to sign on the film– yet has remained dormant for some time. Things started to pick up earlier this year during the Cannes Film Festival when Ejiofor and Paltrow became attached. With Roberts’ participation, The Secret in Their Eyes looks like one of the potential curiosities for the 2015 movie year.
Trivia note: Roberts and Paltrow both appeared in the Steven Spielberg’s 1991 Peter Pan sequel, Hook. Roberts played Tinkerbell, while Paltrow, in a small, pre-stardom turn, played Wendy as a young girl.