Portman hits 'Heights' for Maybury film


Natalie Portman is attached to star as romantic fiction icon Catherine Earnshaw in a new silver-screen adaptation of Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights," being produced by Ecosse Films.

Ecosse's Robert Bernstein and Douglas Rae will produce from a script by Olivia Hetreed ("Girl With a Pearl Earring"). HanWay Films will handle worldwide sales for the project, which is being directed by John Maybury.

Bronte's "Heights," one of the classics of English literature, tells of the intense, elemental and yet ultimately thwarted passion between Earnshaw and Heathcliff.

Several screen versions have been made over the decades, and the 1939 version with Merle Oberon as Earnshaw and Laurence Olivier as Heathcliff has long been considered the definitive version.

Still, Ecosse and HanWay believe they have an iconic jewel in Portman.

"Natalie is without a doubt one of the most acclaimed actresses of her generation," HanWay's Tim Haslam said. "Combined with visionary director John Maybury, this promises to be a fresh, exciting version of a classic love story."

Ecosse's Robert Bernstein praised the actress' ability to bring "intensity and depth" to roles.

No start date has been set.

Ecosse and HanWay worked together on "Becoming Jane" and the forthcoming "Brideshead Revisited," to be released July 25 by Miramax in the U.S.

Portman most recently starred in period drama "The Other Boleyn Girl" with Scarlett Johansson and Eric Bana and next stars opposite Jake Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire in Jim Sheridan's "Brothers."

She is repped by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment.