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Julia Roberts to Produce, Star in Drama ‘Little Bee’ for Amazon

Julia Roberts has come on board to produce and star in a feature drama based on Chris Cleave’s novel, “Little Bee,” for Amazon Studios.

Actress-writer Kathleen Robertson (“Murder in the First”) is writing the adaptation of Cleave’s 2008 novel — originally published as “The Other Hand” — about a young Nigerian asylum-seeker named Little Bee and British magazine editor Sarah O’ Rourke, who would be portrayed by Roberts. The two meet during a conflict in the Niger Delta and are reunited in England several years later.

Roberts will produce under her Red Om Films production company along with her producing partners Lisa Gillan and Marisa Yeres Gill. Gil Netter will also produce.

It was reported in 2009 that Nicole Kidman was attached to star in and produce a “Little Bee” adaptation with BBC Films, but that project never came to fruition.

Roberts recently starred in Lionsgate’s hit drama “Wonder,” and will appear alongside Lucas Hedges in Peter Hedges’ independent drama, “Ben Is Back.”

Robertson is attached to write an adaptation “The Possibilities,”  Kaui Hart Hemmings’ follow-up novel to “The Descendents,”  which Jason Reitman is directing and producing with Helen Estabrook. She’s also set up “Your Time Is Up” at Lifetime with Christina Applegate set to star.

Roberts is repped by CAA. Robertson is repped by Untitled Entertainment, Paradigm, attorney Jamie Feldman, and NCA Talent and Play Management in Canada. Cleave is repped by ICM Partners. The news was first reported by Deadline.

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