‘War’ lures Julia back

Roberts is back in the trenches

In what would be her first onscreen role since 2004’s “Ocean’s Twelve,” Julia Roberts is circling Universal’s “Charlie Wilson’s War.”

Roberts is in early talks to board the project with her “Closer” director Mike Nichols. She’d star with Tom Hanks, who is producing the film with Playtone partner Gary Goetzman.

Hanks declared last year that he’d play Charlie Wilson, the rogue Texas congressman who oversaw the covert funding of the Afghan rebels in their battle against the Soviet Union.

Roberts, who took time off after giving birth to twins, is in talks to play Joanne Herring, a big-haired and beautiful Texas socialite who influenced Wilson to support the rebel cause.

Based on the book by “60 Minutes” producer George Crile, “Charlie Wilson’s War” was scripted by Aaron Sorkin. Production will begin later this year.

Neither Roberts nor Nichols have started negotiations.

Since Roberts took maternity leave, her movie work has been confined to providing voices for characters in the upcoming CGI animated films “Charlotte’s Web” and “Ant Bully,” the latter of which is Playtone-produced.

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