Heath Ledger and RachelWeisz have agreed to play the star-crossed lovers in an adaptation of the TimWinton novel Dirt Music, to bedirected by Phillip Noyce on home soil from March 2007.
Weisz won the Academy Award forbest actress this year for The ConstantGardener - and had her first childyesterday - while the homegrown Ledger was nominated for Brokeback Mountain.
"We have an agreement thatHanway will sell the film as they did so successfully with Rabbit Proof Fence," said Noyce, "but we are also considering otherproduction and financing partners."
He expects to raise justover $15m (A$20m) with the help of presales.
"We are trying to make afilm that is truly independent. It works well when you have distributors indifferent countries financially and emotionally attracted to making the picturesuccessful," Noyce said.
Noyce plans to shoot in theremote
He is producing with hisAustralian partner in production company Rumbalara, Miranda Culley. She wasborn and raised in
Winton is one of
Noyce is currentlycompletely his latest film, Catch A Fire(formerly Hotstuff), in