Kidman and Fiennes join 'Reader' club


Nicole Kidman and Ralph Fiennes have signed on to star in the Weinstein Co.'s "The Reader," directed by Stephen Daldry. The film will reteam Kidman and Daldry, who worked together on "The Hours," which netted Kidman a best actress Oscar.

Based on Bernhard Schlink's international best-seller, the story is set in postwar Germany and centers on Michael Berg, who is 15 years old when he begins a long, obsessive affair with Hanna, an enigmatic older woman. He never learns much about her, and when she disappears one day, he expects never to see her again. But to his horror, he discovers that she is a defendant in a Nazi war crimes trial, and it soon becomes clear that she is guilty of an unspeakable crime.

David Hare, who adapted the Oscar-nominated screenplay for "The Hours," penned "The Reader."

Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack are producing the long-gestating project, which originally was set up at Miramax, alongside "The Hours" producer Scott Rudin. Shooting is scheduled to begin next month in Germany.

Kidman, who is onscreen in the thriller "The Invasion," next stars in "Margot at the Wedding," "The Golden Compass" and "Australia." She is repped by CAA and attorney Alan Wertheimer.

Fiennes, who most recently played Lord Voldemort in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," has been nominated for Academy Awards for his roles in "Schindler's List" and Minghella's "The English Patient." He is repped by CAA, Simon Beresford in the U.K. and attorney Mike Adler.