Roberts, Moss bottle up 'Fireflies'


Julia Roberts and Carrie-Anne Moss have signed on to star in the ensemble drama "Fireflies in the Garden" for Senator Entertainment, marking the German company's first U.S. production. Emily Watson and Ryan Reynolds are in negotiations to join the cast.

Written by Dennis Lee, who will make his directorial debut on the project, the story is loosely based on Lee's life and explores the complexities of love and commitment in a family torn apart when faced with an unexpected tragedy.

Shooting is scheduled to begin in March in Austin.

Senator's Marco Weber, Vanessa Coifman and Sukee Chew are producing, while Jere Hausfater and Milton Liu are executive producing.

Weber lauded Lee's screenplay as "a gripping and entertaining story that encompasses the true meaning of family." He added, "This ensemble of actors is a testament to the strength of the material, and we are extremely fortunate to bring all of these people together."

Senator, which produces, finances and distributes film, is in preproduction on "The Informers," based on Bret Easton Ellis' novel. Filming is set to start in the summer.

CAA will rep "Fireflies' " North American rights at this month's European Film Market in Berlin. Hausfater's Essential Entertainment will handle global territories, excluding Germany, where Senator has an established distribution chain.

Lee is a student Academy Award winner for his short film "Jesus Henry Christ."