Cate Blanchett has taken the lead role in Phoenix Pictures' Miss Potter, the biopic of Beatrix Potter, which will be directed by Bruce Beresford. Blanchett, who is also attached to star in Alias Grace for Working Title Films, will play the young spinster who became a bestselling author with her timeless children's books based around characters such as Peter Rabbit, Mrs Tiggywinkle and Jemima Puddleduck.

The film has been written by Richard Maltby Jr and will be produced by Phoenix chief Mike Medavoy, David Kirschner and Corey Sienega.

Blanchett will be seen later this year in Joel Schumacher's Veronica Guerin for Disney and as the Elf Queen Galadriel in The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King. She is currently shooting The Missing with Tommy Lee Jones for director Ron Howard.

Meanwhile Beresford has just completed And Starring Pancho Villa As Himself with Antonio Banderas and is also attached to Odyssey Entertainment's The Blue Afternoon with Sam Neill and Olivier Martinez.