Eckhart, Mitchell join Kidman in 'Rabbit'

Aaron Eckhart is in negotiations to star opposite Nicole Kidman in "Rabbit Hole," a drama that John Cameron Mitchell has come aboard to direct. Kidman, who is producing through her Blossom Films banner, initially set up the project at Fox Searchlight. It now is being co-financed by Olympus Pictures and Odd Lot Entertainment, which also will co- produce.

The story, which David Lindsay-Abaire adapted from his stage play, traces the life of a happily married couple disrupted by a tragedy and the emotional journey they must undertake to regain happiness.

Eckhart will play Kidman's husband, who is trying to hold onto the memory of his dead son while dealing with his emotionally removed wife.

Per Saari also is producing via Blossom, along with Leslie Urdang and Dean Vanech of Olympus and Gigi Pritzker of Odd Lot. Bill Lischak and Linda McDonough will exec produce for Odd Lot.

The film will be sold at the Cannes film market, with CAA, which brokered the financing deal, handling domestic sales and Odd Lot handling international.

Mitchell, repped by CAA and Jackson Group Entertainment, most recently directed "Shortbus," which tackled sexuality among New Yorkers.

The CAA-repped Eckhart recently began shooting "The Rum Diary" in Puerto Rico with Johnny Depp and is attached to star in "Battle: Los Angeles" for Columbia.

"Brand New Day," in which he stars with Jennifer Aniston, will be released in September. (partialdiff)