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Thesp hops to Beatrix bio

Watson joins Zellweger, McGregor in 'Potter'

Emily Watson is joining Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor in the Beatrix Potter biopic “Miss Potter” for David Kirschner Prods. and Phoenix Pictures.

Chris Noonan will direct a script by Richard Maltby Jr.

The $30 million pic, which begins shooting in London on March 7, is being financed by Grosvenor Park, with Summit Entertainment handling international sales and distribution.

Brit distrib Momentum has picked up U.K. and Spanish rights to the film.

“Miss Potter” will explore the life of the author of beloved children’s book such 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.

Watson most recently starred in Fox Searchlight’s “Separate Lies” opposite Tom Wilkinson. She is currently in production on the U.K. pic “The Proposition” with John Hurt.

This year Phoenix’s slate includes Sony’s “All the King’s Men,” Paramount and Warner Bros.’ “Zodiac,” directed by David Fincher, and a remake of the Norwegian pic “Pathfinder.”

Kirschner most recently partnered with Imagine Entertainment on Universal’s “Curious George.”

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