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Natalie Portman to Star in New 'Wuthering Heights' Adaptation

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Apr 11, 2008 | 4:57am EDT

Natalie Portman is set to star in a new feature adaptation of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights.

Portman will play heroine Catherine Earnshaw, who falls for Heathcliff in a passionate love that is ultimately thwarted.

The film, written by Girl With a Pearl Earring’s Olivia Hetreed, will be directed by John Maybury. Maybury’s credits include episodes of the miniseries Rome and 2005’s The Jacket with Adrien Brody and Keira Knightley.

Several screen versions have been made over the decades, but William Wyler’s 1939 version with Merle Oberon as Earnshaw and Laurence Olivier as Heathcliff is considered the definitive version, write today’s trades.

The last time it was brought to the screen, Heights paired Juliette Binoche with Ralph Fiennes.

Folks on the new project believe Portman will bring a freshness to the tale. “Natalie is without a doubt one of the most acclaimed actresses of her generation,” Tim Haslam, of international sales agency HanWay, told The Hollywood Reporter. “Combined with visionary director John Maybury, this promises to be a fresh, exciting version of a classic love story.”

Portman will next be seen in Jim Sheridan’s Brothers alongside Jake Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire.

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