Thesp hops to 'Potter,' McGregor in talks

Renee Zellweger will topline “Miss Potter,” a biopic about Beatrix Potter for David Kirschner Prods. and Phoenix Pictures. Ewan McGregor is in talks to play Norman, Potter’s publisher and love interest.

Chris Noonan, who has not helmed a feature since 1995’s “Babe,” will direct a script by Richard Maltby Jr. Shooting is skedded to begin on location in the U.K. in March.

Director Bruce Beresford and Cate Blanchett had been previously attached to the pic.

Grosvenor Park will finance the project, with Summit Entertainment handling international sales and distribution.

“Miss Potter” explores the life of the author of such beloved children’s books as “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” and her struggle for independence in Victorian England. Live-action pic will have some animated elements.

Producing are Phoenix’s Mike Medavoy, Arnie Messer and David Thwaites, along with Kirschner Prods.’ David Kirschner and Corey Sienega. Zellweger will serve as exec producer.

VP of production Thwaites brought the project to Phoenix and will oversee for the company.

Zellweger most recently starred opposite Russell Crowe in Universal’s “Cinderella Man.” Thesp will voice a character in DreamWorks Animation’s upcoming “Bee Movie,” with Jerry Seinfeld.

Kirschner Prods. recently wrapped New Line’s “Martian Child,” directed by Menno Meyjes. Shingle is in production with Imagine Entertainment on Universal’s “Curious George.”

Phoenix most recently produced Sony’s “All the King’s Men.” Shingle is in production on Warner Bros.’ “Zodiac,” directed by David Fincher.

Tony Award-winning Maltby’s many credits include directing the Broadway musicals “Ain’t Misbehavin’ ” and “Fosse.” He is also the co-lyricist of “Miss Saigon.”

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