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Kidman penciled in for Lee’s ‘Diaries’ pic

NEW YORK — Nicole Kidman is attached to star in a film based on Marie Vassiltchikov’s “Berlin Diaries, 1940-45,” which Gotham-based indie production company Good Machine has acquired for Ang Lee (“Sense and Sensibility”) to direct.

In her 1987 book, published by Knopf, Vassiltchikov recounts her arrival in Berlin as a stateless and penniless Russian princess on the eve of World War II. Through her aristocratic connections, she finds work at the German Foreign Ministry, where she befriends the leaders of a plot to kill Hitler.

“Berlin Diaries” will be produced by Good Machine, which is run by James Schamus and Ted Hope and has a first-look agreement with 20th Century Fox. Mishka Harnden will serve as co-producer.

The book was brought to Good Machine by story editor Jean Castelli, and rights were acquired by Schamus and the company’s vice president of development Anne Carey in negotiations with literary agent Ken Sherman.

Schamus wrote the script for Lee’s upcoming feature “Ice Storm,” a Fox Searchlight release that stars Sigourney Weaver, Kevin Kline and Joan Allen. He co-wrote the Lee films “The Wedding Banquet” and “Eat Drink Man Woman.”

Schamus is currently finishing a screenplay for a Civil War Western that Lee will direct, called “To Live On.”

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