"Eat, Pray" film project journeys to new studio

Mon Feb 2, 2009 1:36am EST
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By Borys Kit

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Columbia Pictures is in negotiations to pick up the movie rights, released by Paramount Pictures, to the best-selling memoir "Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia."

Columbia is also in the process of making deals with the actors and filmmakers already connected to the screen project. They include Julia Roberts, who would star; "Nip/Tuck" creator Ryan Murphy, who would write and direct; and Brad Pitt and Dede Gardner, who would produce via their Plan B production company.

The project is based on Elizabeth Gilbert's book, published by Viking February 2006.

The story focuses on a married woman who seemingly has it all but realizes that she's not living the life she wants. She divorces her husband and sets off on a journey around the world.

Paramount picked up the movie rights for Plan B in 2006, with Roberts joining soon after, followed by Murphy, who made his directorial debut with the 2006 feature "Running With Scissors."

Columbia is conducting due diligence to make sure there's a clear legal chain on the project. Since the recently settled "Watchmen" court case between and 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros., most Hollywood studios are taking extra care to insure the airtightness of whatever rights they pick up after another studio drops them.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter