Portman to Climb on 'Cold Mountain'

06/05/2002 at 11:00 AM EDT

Add another name to the all-star version of the movie adaptation of the National Book Award-winning novel "Cold Mountain" as it heads toward the screen: Natalie Portman. Variety reports that the "Star Wars" star, 20, will likely join Nicole Kidman, Ozzy Osbourne, Jude Law, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Giovanni Ribisi, Brendan Gleeson and Kathy Baker when filming commences next month. "The English Patient" and "The Talented Mr. Ripley" director Anthony Minghella will be the man behind the camera. "I could not be more thrilled with the quality of actor this material is attracting; it's a real testimony to the appeal of Charles Frazier's magnificent novel that we have been able to assemble such a formidable ensemble," the Oscar-winning director, 48, told the trade paper. "This is an epic venture." Frazier's debut novel takes place during the waning months of the Civil War, when a wounded Confederate veteran named Inman (to be played by Law) leaves his hospital bed on a long journey home to the remote hills of North Carolina. En route he encounters good guys and bad, though nothing dissuades him in his pursuit of the woman he loved before going to war, Ada (Kidman). While Inman was off fighting Yankees, Ada was struggling to revive her late father's farm with the help of a young drifter (Zellweger).

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