Natalie Portman has ankled from the planned pic adaptation of classic Emily Bronte novel Wuthering Heights.
Her departure, which comes as a surprise as she was one of the project’s driving creative forces, is due to a scheduling conflict with an as-yet unannounced project, according to her publicist.
Portman is also planning to make her directorial debut with an adaptation of Israeli writer Amos Oz’s memoir A Tale of Love and Darkness in the near future.
U.K.-based Ecosse Films is producing Wuthering Heights, which is still set to start shooting in the fall, with Brit John Maybury (The Edge of Love) helming.
Hanway Films is handling international sales. Olivia Hetreed (The Girl With a Pearl Earring) penned the script.
Up-and-coming Brit thesp Michael Fassbender, whose perf in Un Certain Regard opener Hunger is generating strong buzz, is in advanced negotiations to play the lead male role of Heathcliff.
Ecosse execs are pondering other choices for the role of Cathy, which Portman had been set to play.