Noyce cues ‘Music’ stars

Ledger, Weisz fall into 'Dirt'

Heath Ledger and Rachel Weisz are circling “Dirt Music,” an adaptation of the Tim Winton novel that will be directed in Australia by Phillip Noyce.

Novel, about a couple in a loveless relationship, is set in a remote fishing village on the West Australian coast. It was short-listed for the Booker Prize, and Noyce optioned it right after winning accolades for another homegrown Australian tale, “Rabbit- Proof Fence.”

Noyce and his Rumbalara Films partner Miranda Culley are producing, and the script was originally adapted by Justin Monjo, who previously adapted Winton’s novel “Cloudstreet” into a stage hit. Pip Karmel did the most recent draft.

Timing on the film is unclear (since the financing has yet to be raised), and production will have to work around the schedules of both actors and Noyce, who’s simultaneously developing with producer Lynda Obst the Paramount drama “Sydney to Hobart,” a Ken Nolan-scripted drama about a race across the Tasman Sea.

The fund-raising effort should be helped by the attachments of Weisz, who just won the Oscar for “The Constant Gardener,” and Ledger, nominated for “Brokeback Mountain.”

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