Watts elects ‘Nixon’ role

Tale of downtrodden salesman based on real events

“The Ring” star Naomi Watts has been set to topliner alongside Sean Penn and Don Cheadle in “The Assassination of Richard Nixon.” The pic is being directed by Niels Mueller, who wrote the script with Kevin Kennedy.

“The Assassination of Richard Nixon” is from Monsoon Entertainment, the shingle run by Alfonso Cuaron, Jorge Vergara and Arnaud Duteil. Jason Kliot and Joana Vicente are producing, and Alexander Payne is exec producer with Cuaron, Vergara and Duteil.

Based on real events, “Assassination” is the story of a salesman in 1974 who, while pursuing the American dream and finding himself at the end of his rope, takes very desperate measures to make his mark.

Watts will next be seen starring in “Le Divorce,” opposite Kate Hudson. She recently completed production on “21 Grams,” opposite Sean Penn and Benicio Del Toro, and she begins filming this month on “Anymore” with Mark Ruffalo. She’s repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment.

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