Roberts 'Sold' on love story


Julia Roberts has signed on to produce and possibly star in the feature "Happiness Sold Separately," based on the novel by Lolly Winston, to be adapted and directed by Scott Coffey.

Fox Searchlight is in early negotiations to distribute. Suzanne and Jennifer Todd and Joe Roth of Team Todd will produce along with Roberts' Red Om Films banner. Valeska Ramet, who brought the book to Coffey ("Ellie Parker"), also will produce.

Claudia Lewis and Jeremy Steckler will oversee production for the studio.

"Happiness" is a love story centered on a woman who withdraws from her husband into a world of heartbreak and anger after she discovers that he had an affair with his nutritionist at the gym. It tells the story of when people meet the wrong person at the wrong time and have to make it right.

"I've been looking for something to do with Julia for a really long time, and I finally found the project that was worthy of her," said Coffey, who also is an actor and a longtime friend of Roberts. "I couldn't get Julia out of my head when I was reading Lolly's book. Elinor is such a strong, complicated woman, and bringing her to the screen required Julia's integrity, empathy, humor and legs."

Roberts is in production on "Charlie Wilson's War" opposite Tom Hanks, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams. She also is voicing the title character in the Paramount Pictures release "Charlotte's Web," which bows Friday. Roberts is repped by CAA. Barry Hirsch is her attorney.

Roberts had been mentioned as the possible star in Winston's other novel, "Good Grief."

Coffey is in postproduction at Anonymous Content on "K-Town Super Frog," his adaptation of Haruki Murakami's "All God's Children Can Dance." Coffey also is adapting Andy Greenwald's novel "Miss Misery" for the Jacobson Co.; he also will direct

Coffey is repped by Joy Gorman at Anonymous Content and Max Roman at Innovative Artists. Linda Lichter is his attorney.

Winston is repped by Joel Gotler.