Chbosky adapting Leimbach's London-set novel

Julia Roberts is negotiating to star in “Daniel Isn’t Talking,” based on the novel by Marti Leimbach, for Fox 2000. Karen Rosenfelt is producing.

Stephen Chbosky (“Rent”) is adapting Leimbach’s London-set novel about a couple and their two children. When it’s revealed that the son is autistic, the family’s orderly life is shattered.

Roberts starred in a previous adaptation of a Leimbach book, “Dying Young,” in 1991.

Autism is a subject of passion for Roberts, who recently optioned the film rights to Cammie McGovern’s book “Eye Contact,” about a mother and her autistic son.

Maria Faillace oversees for Fox 2000.

Roberts’ next project is Universal’s “Charlie Wilson’s War” opposite Tom Hanks for director Mike Nichols. That project and “Daniel” mark a return to onscreen movie work for the thesp, whose recent maternity leave limited her to providing voice characters in CG pics, such as “Charlotte’s Web” and “Ant Bully.”

Chbosky adapted Jonathan Larson’s musical “Rent” for Revolution. He’s also the author of MTV Books’ “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” a coming-of-age novel about a 15-year-old boy unable to repress any emotions. Book has sold almost half a million copies and become something of a “Catcher in the Rye” for the Match.com generation.

Last year, Rosenfelt segued from her post as production prexy at Paramount to a two-year production deal at Fox 2000 and 20th Century Fox. Most recently, she exec produced the Walden Media/Nickelodeon adaptation of E.B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web.”

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