Blanchett in talks to star as journo

This article was corrected on June 25, 2001.

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s true-life drama “Chasing the Dragon: The Veronica Guerin Story” has gotten the greenlight with the Walt Disney Co. back on track to distribute Cate Blanchett in early talks to star as the gutsy journo.

In September, Joel Schumacher signed on to develop and direct the film. He remains attached, with lensing expected to begin in Dublin, Ireland, next spring. The Mouse House had put the project in turnaround and it was believed that Bruckheimer would set it up at another studio. Now it’s again with Disney, subject to an undisclosed budget figure.

For Disney, Buena Vista Motion Picture Group prexy Nina Jacobson will oversee the project along with senior veep Jason Reed.

Guerin, a journo for the Dublin Sunday Independent, was gunned down in 1996 by the drug dealers about whom she frequently wrote. Her story hit a nerve Stateside, spawning a half-dozen TV and magazine pieces.

In 1997, Disney hired former Texas Monthly staffer Helen Thorpe to work on the Guerin project, dispatching her to Dublin for a month-long research trip. Bruckheimer subsequently supplemented that material by optioning Mike Sager’s GQ article “The Martyrdom of Veronica Guerin.”

Bruckheimer Films’ Chad Oman brought the project into the Disney-based shingle. He will exec produce along with Mike Stenson.

Several scribes have penned drafts of the script, including Irish scribe Carol Doyle, who wrote the first draft, and Mary Agnes Donoghue, whose rewrite attracted Schumacher.

Repped by WMA, Blanchett next appears in the Miramax film “The Shipping New,” opposite Kevin Spacey, and in New Line’s “The Fellowship of the Ring,” the first installment of the Peter Jackson-helmed “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, to be released Dec. 19.

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