The glittering cast of Anthony Minghella's upcoming epic Cold Mountain is taking shape, with the addition of Natalie Portman, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Giovanni Ribisi and Brendan Gleeson this week. Jude Law, Nicole Kidman and Renee Zellweger play the three lead roles in the film, which is a co-production between Miramax Films and MGM Pictures. Shooting is scheduled to begin this summer.
Based on the bestselling Civil War novel by Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain tells the story of a wounded confederate soldier (Law) on a perilous journey to his mountain community hoping to reunite with his childhood sweetheart (Kidman), who herself is trying to survive in his absence with the help of a young drifter (Zellweger).
Producers of the film are Sydney Pollack and William Horberg for Pollack and Minghella's Mirage Enterprises and Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa through Bona Fide Productions. Miramax co-presidents of production Meryl Poster and Bob Osher, Steve Hutensky, executive vice president of business affairs, and Jon Gordon, executive vice president of production, are overseeing the project for Miramax.
Hoffman had previously worked with Minghella on The Talented Mr Ripley, while Ribisi was in the Minghella-produced Heaven directed by Tom Tykwer. CAA represented Portman, Paradigm represented Hoffman, UTA represented Ribisi and Essential Entertainment represented Gleeson in the negotiations with Miramax and Mirage.