Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts Set to Star in Film of August: Osage County
By Kenneth Jones
Meryl Streep will play cancer-ridden, pill-poppin' matriarch Violet opposite Julia Roberts as confrontational daughter Barbara in the film version of Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize-winning drama August: Osage County, according to published reports citing The Weinstein Company.
Letts (Killer Joe, Bug, The Man From Nebraska) has penned the screenplay of the darkly comic, three-hour-plus drama about three sisters returning to their Oklahoma home after their poet-father goes missing. John Wells ("Company Men") will direct the picture.
The ensemble play began in a 2007 production by Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago. The production moved to Broadway that fall and won the 2008 Tony Award as Best Play and the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It has since appeared on national tour, in London and Australia (with members of the original cast) and is now surfacing in independent regional productions.
Interest in Roberts ("Pretty Woman," "Steel Magnolias," "Erin Brockovich") and Streep ("Mamma Mia!," "Sophie's Choice," "Julie & Julia") was reported as early as fall 2010.
In fall 2008, Harvey Weinstein, who was also one of the producers of the Broadway production, told Variety, "I've loved the writing since I was given a 240-page script for a three-hour play that starred nobody, that had no workshop. My reaction was similar to the feeling I had when I read Quentin Tarantino's script for 'True Romance.' Tracy has that kind of voice."
The film is reportedly set to begin production this fall. Streep is currently Academy Award-nominated for playing Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady," produced by The Weinstein Company.
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