Susan Sarandon eyeing 'Big Valley'

Eyeing Barbara Stanwyck's role in film version of '60s series

Susan Sarandon is in talks to become the matriarch of the Barkley clan.

Kate Edelman Johnson is producing a feature film version of "The Big Valley," based on the TV show created by her late father, producer Louis F. Edelman, and writer A.I. Bezzerides. The Western series, which ran on ABC from 1965-69, starred Barbara Stanwyck as the matriarch of a ranching family in the 1870s San Joaquin Valley.

Sarandon would take on the part of Victoria Barkley, originated by Stanwyck.

Edelman Johnson's producing partner, Daniel Adams ("The Lightkeepers"), has written the feature screenplay and will direct. Johnson and Adams' Panther Entertainment will produce, with a May start date planned for principal photography in Michigan and New Mexico.

"I am so thrilled to be filming this project, not only to honor my father and Miss Stanwyck but to bring a great woman's part to the screen as head of this historical family saga," Edelman Johnson said.

Fox, which distributes the TV show on DVD, has first option on the North American distribution rights to the feature project. Sales agent Arclight Films will rep the film internationally, beginning with the European Film Market at the Berlin International Film Festival, which begins today.

The ICM-repped Sarandon last appeared in "The Lovely Bones" and will next be seen in the Oliver Stone-directed sequel "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," which Fox will release in April.