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Pitt, Portman to star in ‘Artifacts’

Paramount film based on Shapton book

Paramount Pictures has attached Brad Pitt and Natalie Portman to star in a film based on the new Leanne Shapton book “Important Artifacts and Personal Property From the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion and Jewelry.”

The book was just published by Farrar Straus & Giroux.

Paramount won an auction for the book rights Tuesday night. Pitt’s Plan B will produce with Portman’s Handsomecharlie Films banner. Portman brought the book to Pitt, whose company is Par-based.

The book takes the form of a Sotheby’s-like estate auction catalog, with 325 entries and photographs depicting items that reveal the private moments and the rise and fall of a four-year relationship between the fictitious couple Hal Morris (a 40ish photographer) and Lenore Doolan (a New York Times food columnist in her late 20s).

The project will be developed as a romantic comedy to star Pitt and Portman.

Shapton, an illustrator and art director of the Times’ op-ed page, uses items that range from clothes to notes, emails and heirlooms to convey the excitement, hopes, dreams and, ultimately, the heartache of a love affair that runs its course.

CAA brokered the deal.

Pitt, who’ll next be seen starring in the Quentin Tarantino-directed “Inglourious Basterds” and Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life,” is expected to next star in the Steven Soderbergh-helmed “Moneyball.”

“Important Artifacts” reps the latest high-profile lit buy for Pitt’s Plan B, which has James Gray writing to direct an adaptation of the just-published David Grann book “The Lost City of Z.” Earlier this week, Par acquired the John Le Carre novel “The Night Manager” for Pitt to produce.

Portman will next be seen in the Jim Sheridan-directed drama “Brothers.”

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