Jolie, Aronofsky eyeing 'Serena' adaptation

Actress would star in project based on 2008 period tome

Angelina Jolie and Darren Aronofsky are in discussions to develop a big-screen adaptation of Ron Rash's 2008 period tome "Serena: A Novel." The project would be a starring vehicle for Jolie, while Aronofsky would direct.

Chris Kyle, who penned the Kathryn Bigelow movies "The Weight of Water" and "K-19: The Widowmaker," wrote the screenplay for the project, which is being produced by Nick Wechsler, the man behind recent high-profile adaptation such as "The Road," "The Time Traveler's Wife" and "Reservation Road."

Set in the rugged mountains of 1929 North Carolina, "Serena" follows a man named George Pemberton and his new bride, Serena, as they create a timber empire. Serena not only takes to the woods, but she also pushes her husband to commit more and more ruthless acts. When she learns she cannot bear a child, Serena sets out to murder the son her husband fathered illegitimately.

The package is quietly making the rounds around town in its search for financing. Work on the script is also needed before the duo could move forward.

CAA-repped Aronofsky, who just wrapped "Black Swan" for Fox Searchlight and Phoenix Pictures, is on the hunt for a new project. And he has shown that he is not afraid to go it alone to get a movie made -- as he did with "The Wrestler."

Despite the period setting, "Serena" could be made for a price if made in a similar fashion to the way Paul Thomas Anderson fashioned his early 20th century-set movie "There Will Be Blood."

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Jolie, repped by Media Talent Group, remains one of the few female actresses who can make or break a movie. It was her interest in "Salt" that got Sony to change the sex of its title character to make that pic, which opens July 23.

Jolie recently dropped out of "Wanted 2" for Universal, which caused reports to surface the project was dead. The sequel is alive, according to Universal insiders.

The actress, who is currently shooting "The Tourist" with Johnny Depp, has nothing lined up as a follow-up, though a movie based on the Patricia Cornwell character Kay Scarpetta is one of the stronger contenders on her to-do list.